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Natural Selection as a Population-Level Causal Process

Millstein, Roberta L. (2006) Natural Selection as a Population-Level Causal Process. [Preprint]


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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, Lewens, and Ariew [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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Item Type: Preprint
Millstein, Roberta L.
Additional Information: Forthcoming in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Keywords: natural selection, evolution, causation, population-level, montane willow leaf beetle, Bouchard, Rosenberg, Walsh, Ariew, Lewins, Matthen, statistical
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology
General Issues > Causation
Depositing User: Dr. Roberta L. Millstein
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2006
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:13
Item ID: 2581

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