Abstractions can be causes — a response to professor Hogan

Biology and Philosophy 9 (1):99-103 (1994)
In Canions be Causes, David Johnson defends the view that abstractions can have causal force. He offers as his own example of natural kinds ecological niches, arguing that the causal force of these niches in nature is akin to the force of Aristotelian final causes. He concludes that, rooted as it is in seventeenth century mechanism, the currently-accepted model of causality which recognises only efficient causes is inadequate to the needs of contemporary science. In Natural Kinds and Ecological Niches — Response to Johnson ''s Paper, Melinda Hogan offers a critique of Johnson ''s paper which, by begging the question in favor of the very sort of causality Johnson seeks to supplement, misses the epistemological implications of his idea. In this paper I will attempt to clarify and defend Johnson ''s position, pointing out some of its implications for the epistemology of science in general
Keywords Final causality  efficient causality  mechanism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00849917
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,463
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
David M. Johnson (1990). Can Abstractions Be Causes? Biology and Philosophy 5 (1):63-77.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

18 ( #255,392 of 1,925,541 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #418,152 of 1,925,541 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.