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Profile: Jun Otsuka (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Profile: Jun Otsuka (Kobe University)
  1.  9
    Jun Otsuka (2016). A Critical Review of the Statisticalist Debate. Biology and Philosophy 31 (4):459-482.
    Over the past decade philosophers of biology have discussed whether evolutionary theory is a causal theory or a phenomenological study of evolution based solely on the statistical features of a population. This article reviews this controversy from three aspects, respectively concerning the assumptions, applications, and explanations of evolutionary theory, with a view to arriving at a definite conclusion in each contention. In so doing I also argue that an implicit methodological assumption shared by both sides of the debate, namely the (...)
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  2.  28
    Jun Otsuka, A Critical Review of the Statisticalist Debate.
    The statisticalist interpretation of evolutionary theory construes the modern mathematical genetics as a purely phenomenological theory that explains evolutionary changes by statistical, but not causal, features of populations. The view has provoked heated discussions over the past decade, prompting numerous philosophical analyses from var- ious perspectives but at the same time making it difficult to draw a clear picture of the controversy. In view of evaluating these analyses and attaining a correct understanding of evolutionary theory, this article reviews the debate (...)
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  3.  44
    Jun Otsuka, Trin Turner, Colin Allen & Elisabeth Lloyd (2011). Why the Causal View of Fitness Survives. Philosophy of Science 78 (2):209-224.
    We critically examine Denis Walsh’s latest attack on the causalist view of fitness. Relying on Judea Pearl’s Sure-Thing Principle and geneticist John Gillespie’s model for fitness, Walsh has argued that the causal interpretation of fitness results in a reductio. We show that his conclusion only follows from misuse of the models, that is, (1) the disregard of the real biological bearing of the population-size parameter in Gillespie’s model and (2) the confusion of the distinction between ordinary probability and Pearl’s causal (...)
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  4.  22
    Jun Otsuka (2015). Using Causal Models to Integrate Proximate and Ultimate Causation. Biology and Philosophy 30 (1):19-37.
    Ernst Mayr’s classical work on the nature of causation in biology has had a huge influence on biologists as well as philosophers. Although his distinction between proximate and ultimate causation recently came under criticism from those who emphasize the role of development in evolutionary processes, the formal relationship between these two notions remains elusive. Using causal graph theory, this paper offers a unified framework to systematically translate a given “proximate” causal structure into an “ultimate” evolutionary response, and illustrates evolutionary implications (...)
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  5.  2
    Jun Otsuka (2016). Causal Foundations of Evolutionary Genetics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):247-269.
    The causal nature of evolution is one of the central topics in the philosophy of biology. The issue concerns whether equations used in evolutionary genetics point to some causal processes or purely phenomenological patterns. To address this question the present article builds well-defined causal models that underlie standard equations in evolutionary genetics. These models are based on minimal and biologically plausible hypotheses about selection and reproduction, and generate statistics to predict evolutionary changes. The causal reconstruction of the evolutionary principles shows (...)
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