David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):287-318 (2010)
This paper attempts to elucidate three characteristics of causal relationships that are important in biological contexts. Stability has to do with whether a causal relationship continues to hold under changes in background conditions. Proportionality has to do with whether changes in the state of the cause “line up” in the right way with changes in the state of the effect and with whether the cause and effect are characterized in a way that contains irrelevant detail. Specificity is connected both to David Lewis’ notion of “influence” and also with the extent to which a causal relation approximates to the ideal of one cause–one effect. Interrelations among these notions and their possible biological significance are also discussed.
|Keywords||Philosophy Evolutionary Biology Philosophy of Biology|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
James Woodward (2003). Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation. Oxford University Press.
Stephen Yablo (1992). Mental Causation. Philosophical Review 101 (2):245-280.
David Lewis (2000). Causation as Influence. Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):182-197.
Sandra D. Mitchell (2009). Unsimple Truths: Science, Complexity, and Policy. The University of Chicago Press Chicago and London.
C. Kenneth Waters (2007). Causes That Make a Difference. Journal of Philosophy 104 (11):551-579.
Citations of this work BETA
Christopher J. Austin (forthcoming). Aristotelian Essentialism: Essence in the Age of Evolution. Synthese:1-18.
Collin Rice (2015). Moving Beyond Causes: Optimality Models and Scientific Explanation. Noûs 49 (3):589-615.
Alexander Reutlinger (2014). Do Statistical Laws Solve the 'Problem of Provisos'? Erkenntnis 79 (10):1759-1773.
Brett Calcott (2014). Engineering and Evolvability. Biology and Philosophy 29 (3):293-313.
Jacob Stegenga (2011). Is Meta-Analysis the Platinum Standard of Evidence? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (4):497-507.
Similar books and articles
Jim Woodward (2001). Law and Explanation in Biology: Invariance is the Kind of Stability That Matters. Philosophy of Science 68 (1):1-20.
Anders Strand & Gry Oftedal (2009). Functional Stability and Systems Level Causation. Philosophy of Science 76 (5):809-820.
Philippe Huneman (2010). Topological Explanations and Robustness in Biological Sciences. Synthese 177 (2):213-245.
Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (2012). Against the Contrastive Account of Singular Causation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (1):115-143.
D. Benjamin Barros (2013). Negative Causation in Causal and Mechanistic Explanation. Synthese 190 (3):449-469.
Jaegwon Kim (1981). Causes as Explanations: A Critique. Theory and Decision 13 (4):293.
Sandra D. Mitchell (2008). Exporting Causal Knowledge in Evolutionary and Developmental Biology. Philosophy of Science 75 (5):697-706.
Added to index2009-08-04
Total downloads418 ( #2,894 of 1,792,119 )
Recent downloads (6 months)13 ( #62,440 of 1,792,119 )
How can I increase my downloads?