Biology and Philosophy 18 (4):553-565 (2003)

Authors
André Ariew
University of Missouri, Columbia
Abstract
It's been 41 years since the publication of Ernst Mayr's Cause and Effect in Biology wherein Mayr most clearly develops his version of the influential distinction between ultimate and proximate causes in biology. In critically assessing Mayr's essay I uncover false statements and red-herrings about biological explanation. Nevertheless, I argue to uphold an analogue of the ultimate/proximate distinction as it refers to two different kinds of explanations, one dynamical the other statistical.
Keywords Cause  Development  Drift  Explanation  Fitness  Mayr  Probability  Teleology  Ultimate vs. Proximate
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1025565119032
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophy of Biology.Elliott Sober - 1993 - Westview Press.
Functions.John Bigelow & Robert Pargetter - 1987 - Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):181-196.

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