Genetic traits

Biology and Philosophy 5 (3):327-347 (1990)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Recognizing that all traits are the result of an interaction between genes and environment, I offer a set of criteria for nevertheless making sense of our practice of singling out certain traits as genetic ones, in effect making a distinction between causes and mere conditions. The central criterion is that a trait is genetic if it is genetic differences that make the differences in that trait variable in a given population. A second criterion requires that genetic traits be individuated in a way that matches what some genetic factors cause specifically. Clarifying our causal and classificatory language here can help us to avoid confusions of both theoretical and practical significance.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,389

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
72 (#165,321)

6 months
1 (#415,900)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Fred Gifford
Michigan State University

Citations of this work

Causes That Make a Difference.C. Kenneth Waters - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (11):551-579.
Genes Made Molecular.C. Kenneth Waters - 1994 - Philosophy of Science 61 (2):163-185.
Psychopathy: Morally Incapacitated Persons.Heidi Maibom - 2017 - In Thomas Schramme & Steven Edwards (eds.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Medicine. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 1109-1129.
Molecular Genetics.Ken Waters - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 18 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

The Scientific Image.William Demopoulos & Bas C. van Fraassen - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (4):603.
Causes and Conditions.J. L. Mackie - 1965 - American Philosophical Quarterly 2 (4):245 - 264.
Statistical Explanation & Statistical Relevance.Wesley Salmon - 1971 - Pittsburgh, PA, USA: University of Pittsburgh Press.
The Analysis of Variance and the Analysis of Causes.Richard C. Lewontin - 1974 - American Journal of Human Genetics 26 (3):400-11.
An Essay on Metaphysics.Robin George Collingwood - 1940 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

View all 19 references / Add more references