Difference mechanisms: Explaining variation with mechanisms

Biology and Philosophy 24 (5):645-664 (2009)

Authors
James Tabery
University of Utah
Abstract
Philosophers of science have developed an account of causal-mechanical explanation that captures regularity, but this account neglects variation. In this article I amend the philosophy of mechanisms to capture variation. The task is to explicate the relationship between regular causal mechanisms responsible for individual development and causes of variation responsible for variation in populations. As it turns out, disputes over this relationship have rested at the heart of the nature–nurture debate. Thus, an explication of the relationship between regular causal mechanisms and causes of variation and between individual development and variation offers both the necessary amendment to the philosophy of mechanisms and the resources to mediate the dispute.
Keywords Philosophy   Evolutionary Biology   Philosophy of Biology
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-009-9161-2
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biol and Biomed Sci 36 (2):421--441.

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Citations of this work BETA

What is a Mechanism? Thinking About Mechanisms Across the Sciences.Phyllis Illari & Jon Williamson - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):119-135.
Three Kinds of New Mechanism.Arnon Levy - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (1):99-114.
Reconstituting Phenomena.Maria Kronfeldner - 2015 - In Mäki U., Votsis S., Ruphy S. & Schurz G. (eds.), Recent developments in the philosophy of science. Springer. pp. 169-182.
Evidence and the Assessment of Causal Relations in the Health Sciences.Raffaella Campaner & Maria Carla Galavotti - 2012 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (1):27 - 45.
The Concept of Causation in Biology.Michael Joffe - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (2):179-197.

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