Proximate and ultimate causes: how come? and what for? [Book Review]

Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):781-786 (2013)

Abstract
Proximate and ultimate causes in evolutionary biology have come to conflate two distinctions. The first is a distinction between immediate and historical causes. The second is between explanations of mechanism and adaptive function. Mayr emphasized the first distinction but many evolutionary biologists use proximate and ultimate causes to refer to the second. I recommend that ‘ultimate cause’ be abandoned as ambiguous
Keywords Proximate cause  Ultimate cause  Efficient cause  Final cause  Intentionality  Adaptation  Natural selection
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-013-9369-z
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Causality, Teleology, and Thought Experiments in Biology.Marco Buzzoni - 2015 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 46 (2):279-299.

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