Difference mechanisms: Explaining variation with mechanisms

Biology and Philosophy 24 (5):645-664 (2009)
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
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10539-009-9161-2
Options
 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
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,777
Through your library
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.

View all 33 references / Add more references

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.
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.
Evidence in Biology and the Conditions of Success.Jacob Stegenga - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (6):981-1004.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-04-27

Total downloads

81 ( #65,418 of 2,177,961 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #317,206 of 2,177,961 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums