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Causal selection in biochemistry: Making things by making things happen

Ross, Lauren, N. (2017) Causal selection in biochemistry: Making things by making things happen. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Causal selection has to do with a distinction between mere background conditions and the "true" causes of some outcome of interest. Mainstream philosophical views claim that causal selection is "groundless" in the sense that it lacks any type of principled rationale (Schaffer 2016; Mill 1874; Lewis 1986). I argue against this position in the context of biochemistry where causal factors are selected in explanations of metabolic processes. These factors are selected on the basis of a principled rationale, which is best understood in terms of the causal control that they provide over an outcome of interest.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Ross, Lauren, N.rossl@uci.edu
Keywords: causation, explanation, philosophy of biology, causal selection, pragmatics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Dr. Lauren N. Ross
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2017 14:04
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2017 14:04
Item ID: 13246
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Date: 21 July 2017
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13246

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