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Causation and Mechanisms in Biology

Woodward, James (2021) Causation and Mechanisms in Biology. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This paper was written around 2014 for a forthcoming volume of Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Since publication of that volume has been long delayed, I am posting this paper on the Philsci Archive. The paper discusses a number of issues having to do with mechanistic explanation in biology. It argues that, as an empirical matter, there is often a kind of correspondence between difference making information and information about spatio-temporal or geometrical relations of a sort emphasized in causal process theories of causation. The paper also discusses modularity conditions and the circumstances under which they fail. Failures of modularity are distinguished from cases involving redundancy and causal cycles.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Woodward, James
Keywords: causation, mechanism, causal process, modularity, genetic redundancy
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Jim Woodward
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2021 14:41
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2021 14:41
Item ID: 18628
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Date: 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18628

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