Natural selection as a population-level causal process

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (4):627-653 (2006)
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Abstract

Recent discussions in the philosophy of biology have brought into question some fundamental assumptions regarding evolutionary processes, natural selection in particular. Some authors argue that natural selection is nothing but a population-level, statistical consequence of lower-level events (Matthen and Ariew [2002]; Walsh et al. [2002]). On this view, natural selection itself does not involve forces. Other authors reject this purely statistical, population-level account for an individual-level, causal account of natural selection (Bouchard and Rosenberg [2004]). I argue that each of these positions is right in one way, but wrong in another; natural selection indeed takes place at the level of populations, but it is a causal process nonetheless.

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Roberta L. Millstein
University of California, Davis

Citations of this work

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Agential Teleosemantics.Tiago Rama - 2022 - Dissertation, Autonomous University of Barcelona
A New Foundation for the Propensity Interpretation of Fitness.Charles H. Pence & Grant Ramsey - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):851-881.

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References found in this work

Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Causation.D. Lewis - 1973 - In Philosophical Papers Ii. Oxford University Press. pp. 159-213.

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