David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
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.
|Keywords||Philosophy Evolutionary Biology Philosophy of Biology|
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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.
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Citations of this work BETA
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.
Charles Rathkopf (2013). Localization and Intrinsic Function. Philosophy of Science 80 (1):1-21.
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