Can there be stochastic evolutionary causes?

Philosophy of Science 74 (5):616-627 (2007)
Abstract
Do evolutionary processes such as selection and random drift cause evolutionary change, or are they merely convenient ways of describing or summarizing it? Philosophers have lined up on both sides of this question. One recent defense (Reisman and Forber 2005) of the causal status of selection and drift appeals to a manipulability theory of causation. Yet, even if one accepts manipulability, there are still reasons to doubt that genetic drift, in particular, is genuinely causal. We will address two challenges to treating drift as causal within a manipulation framework. We will argue that both challenges ultimately fail, but that they raise interesting and subtle issues about the nature of causation and the differences between selection and drift. ‡Thanks to audiences at the ‘PBDB1' Conference and the 2006 PSA Meeting for valuable feedback. †To contact the authors, please write to: Patrick Forber, Tufts University, Philosophy Department, Miner Hall, Medford, MA 02155; e-mail: patrick.forber@tufts.edu.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/525608
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,803
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Animal Species and Evolution.Ernst Mayr - 1963 - Belknap of Harvard University Press.
The Nature of Selection.Elliott Sober - 1986 - Behaviorism 14 (1):77-88.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
A New Foundation for the Propensity Interpretation of Fitness.Charles H. Pence & Grant Ramsey - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):851-881.
Productivity, Relevance and Natural Selection.Stuart Glennan - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):325-339.
Forces and Causes in Evolutionary Theory.Christopher Stephens - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):716-727.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
An Explication of the Causal Dimension of Drift.Peter Gildenhuys - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):521-555.
Chance and Natural Selection.John Beatty - 1984 - Philosophy of Science 51 (2):183-211.
How Do Natural Selection and Random Drift Interact?Marshall Abrams - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (5):666-679.
Manipulation and the Causes of Evolution.Kenneth Reisman & Patrick Forber - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1113-1123.
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
34 ( #156,686 of 2,202,718 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #301,061 of 2,202,718 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature