Evo-devo: a science of dispositions

Authors
Christopher J. Austin
Oxford University
Abstract
Evolutionary developmental biology represents a paradigm shift in the understanding of the ontogenesis and evolutionary progression of the denizens of the natural world. Given the empirical successes of the evo-devo framework, and its now widespread acceptance, a timely and important task for the philosophy of biology is to critically discern the ontological commitments of that framework and assess whether and to what extent our current metaphysical models are able to accommodate them. In this paper, I argue that one particular model is a natural fit: an ontology of dispositional properties coherently and adequately captures the crucial casual-cum-explanatory role that the fundamental elements of evo-devo play within that framework.
Keywords evo-devo  dispositions  philosophy of biology
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Reprint years 2017
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DOI 10.1007/s13194-016-0166-9
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Making Things Happen. A Theory of Causal Explanation.James Woodward - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):233-249.
Causation as Influence.David Lewis - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):182-197.
Finkish Dispositions.David Lewis - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (187):143-158.

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