Biology and Philosophy 24 (5):645-664 (2009)
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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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.
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.
Murder on the Development Express: Who Killed Nature/Nurture?Karola Stotz - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (6):919-929.
Evidence in Biology and the Conditions of Success.Jacob Stegenga - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (6):981-1004.
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