Authors
Abstract
Applied Evolutionary Epistemology is a scientific-philosophical theory that defines evolution as the set of phenomena whereby units evolve at levels of ontological hierarchies by mechanisms and processes. This theory also provides a methodology to study evolution, namely, studying evolution involves identifying the units that evolve, the levels at which they evolve, and the mechanisms and processes whereby they evolve. Identifying units and levels of evolution in turn requires the development of ontological hierarchy theories, and examining mechanisms and processes necessitates theorizing about causality. Together, hierarchy and causality theories explain how biorealities form and diversify with time. This paper analyzes how Applied EE redefines both hierarchy and causality theories in the light of the recent explosion of network approaches to causal reasoning associated with studies on reticulate and macroevolution. Causality theories have often been framed from within a rigid, ladder-like hierarchy theory where the rungs of the ladder represent the different levels, and the elements on the rungs represent the evolving units. Causality then is either defined reductionistically as an upward movement along the strands of a singular hierarchy, or holistically as a downward movement along that same hierarchy. Upward causation theories thereby analyze causal processes in time, i.e. over the course of natural history or phylogenetically, as Darwin and the founders of the Modern Synthesis intended. Downward causation theories analyze causal processes in space, ontogenetically or ecologically, as the current eco-evo-devo schools are evidencing. This work demonstrates how macroevolution and reticulate evolution theories add to the complexity by examining reticulate causal processes in space–time, and the interactional hierarchies that such studies bring forth introduce a new form of causation that is here called reticulate causation. Reticulate causation occurs between units and levels belonging to different as well as to the same ontological hierarchies. This article concludes that beyond recognizing the existence of multiple units, levels, and mechanisms or processes of evolution, also the existence of multiple kinds of evolutionary causation as well as the existence of multiple evolutionary hierarchies needs to be acknowledged. This furthermore implies that evolution is a pluralistic process divisible into different kinds.
Keywords hierarchy  causality  networks  reticulate causation  applied evolutionary epistemology
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10838-021-09565-3
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,077
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
The New Mechanical Philosophy.Stuart Glennan - 2017 - Oxford University Press.

View all 51 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Evolutionary Epistemology: Two Research Avenues, Three Schools, and A Single and Shared Agenda.Nathalie Gontier & Michael Bradie - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 52 (2):197-209.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Process Causality and Asymmetry.Phil Dowe - 1992 - Erkenntnis 37 (2):179-196.
Probabilistic Theories of Causality.Jon Williamson - 2009 - In Helen Beebee, Peter Menzies & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oxford University Press. pp. 185--212.
The Cement of Medical Thought. Evolutionary Emergence and Downward Causation.Giovanni Felice Azzone - 1998 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 20 (2):163 - 187.
Ontology, Causality, and Methodology of Evolutionary Research Programs.Jun Otsuka - 2019 - In Evolutionary Causation: Biological and Philosophical Reflections. pp. 247-264.
Peirce on Causality and Causation.Menno Hulswit - 2001 - The Commens Encyclopedia: The Digital Encyclopedia of Peirce Studies.
Probabilistic Causality and Multiple Causation.Paul Humphreys - 1980 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:25 - 37.
What’s Wrong with Evolutionary Causation? [REVIEW]Jan Baedke - 2021 - Acta Biotheoretica 69 (1):79-89.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2021-06-11

Total views
10 ( #877,353 of 2,454,558 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
10 ( #65,096 of 2,454,558 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes