Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):287-318 (2010)
This paper attempts to elucidate three characteristics of causal relationships that are important in biological contexts. Stability has to do with whether a causal relationship continues to hold under changes in background conditions. Proportionality has to do with whether changes in the state of the cause “line up” in the right way with changes in the state of the effect and with whether the cause and effect are characterized in a way that contains irrelevant detail. Specificity is connected both to David Lewis’ notion of “influence” and also with the extent to which a causal relation approximates to the ideal of one cause–one effect. Interrelations among these notions and their possible biological significance are also discussed.
|Keywords||Philosophy Evolutionary Biology Philosophy of Biology|
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Unsimple Truths: Science, Complexity, and Policy.Sandra D. Mitchell - 2009 - The University of Chicago Press Chicago and London.
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Citations of this work BETA
Moving Beyond Causes: Optimality Models and Scientific Explanation.Collin Rice - 2015 - Noûs 49 (3):589-615.
Is Meta-Analysis the Platinum Standard of Evidence?Jacob Stegenga - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (4):497-507.
Convergence as Evidence.A. Currie - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):763-786.
High-Level Explanation and the Interventionist's 'Variables Problem'.L. R. Franklin-Hall - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):553-577.
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