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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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    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, 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
    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 11:13
    Item ID: 2581
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/2581

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