David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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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.
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Citations of this work BETA
Charles Rathkopf (2013). Localization and Intrinsic Function. Philosophy of Science 80 (1):1-21.
Jacob Stegenga (2011). Is Meta-Analysis the Platinum Standard of Evidence? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (4):497-507.
James Woodward (2011). Mechanisms Revisited. Synthese 183 (3):409-427.
Markus Eronen (2012). Pluralistic Physicalism and the Causal Exclusion Argument. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (2):219-232.
Marco J. Nathan (2012). The Varieties of Molecular Explanation. Philosophy of Science 79 (2):233-254.
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