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Understanding biological causation

In V. Harcastle (ed.), Where Biology Meets Psychology (1999)

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  1. On the Causal Completeness of Physics.Agustín Vicente - 2006 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 20 (2):149 – 171.
    According to an increasing number of authors, the best, if not the only, argument in favour of physicalism is the so-called 'overdetermination argument'. This argument, if sound, establishes that all the entities that enter into causal interactions with the physical world are physical. One key premise in the overdetermination argument is the principle of the causal closure of the physical world, said to be supported by contemporary physics. In this paper, I examine various ways in which physics may support the (...)
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  • Emergence Theories and Pragmatic Realism.Charbel Niño El-Hani & Sami Pihlström - 2002 - Essays in Philosophy 3 (2):3.
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  • Downward Determination.Charbel Niño El-Hani - 2005 - Abstracta 1 (2):162-192.
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  • Functions and Emergence: When Functional Properties Have Something to Say.Agustín Vicente - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (2):293-312.
    In a recent paper, Bird (in: Groff (ed.) Revitalizing causality: Realism about causality in philosophy and social science, 2007 ) has argued that some higher-order properties—which he calls “evolved emergent properties”—can be considered causally efficacious in spite of exclusion arguments. I have previously argued in favour of a similar position. The basic argument is that selection processes do not take physical categorical properties into account. Rather, selection mechanisms are only tuned to what such properties can do, i.e., to their causal (...)
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