Philosophy of Science 77 (3):457-467 (2010)

Robert Northcott
Birkbeck, University of London
Denis Walsh has written a striking new defense in this journal of the statisticalist (i.e., noncausalist) position regarding the forces of evolution. I defend the causalist view against his new objections. I argue that the heart of the issue lies in the nature of nonadditive causation. Detailed consideration of that turns out to defuse Walsh’s ‘description‐dependence’ critique of causalism. Nevertheless, the critique does suggest a basis for reconciliation between the two competing views. *Received December 2009; revised December 2009. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, 599 Lucas Hall, One University Boulevard, University of Missouri, St. Louis, MO 63121; e‐mail:
Keywords causation  evolution
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DOI 10.1086/652965
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References found in this work BETA

Causality.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Causation, Prediction, and Search.Peter Spirtes, Clark Glymour & Richard Scheines - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):113-123.
Making Things Happen. A Theory of Causal Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):233-249.

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Citations of this work BETA

A New Foundation for the Propensity Interpretation of Fitness.Charles Pence & Grant Ramsey - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):851-881.
A Critical Review of the Statisticalist Debate.Jun Otsuka - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (4):459-482.
Four Pillars of Statisticalism.Denis M. Walsh, André Ariew & Mohan Matthen - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (1).
Autonomous-Statistical Explanations and Natural Selection: Figure 1.André Ariew, Collin Rice & Yasha Rohwer - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):635-658.

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