PhilSci Archive

Natural Selection and Multi-Level Causation

Martínez, Maximiliano and Moya, Andrés (2011) Natural Selection and Multi-Level Causation. Philosophy and Theory in Biology, 3 (201306). pp. 1-14. ISSN 1949-0739

natural-selection-and-multi-level-causation.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (502kB)


In this paper, using a multilevel approach, we defend the positive role of natural selection in the generation of organismal form. Despite the currently widespread opinion that natural selection only plays a negative role in the evolution of form, we argue, in contrast, that the Darwinian factor is a crucial (but not exclusive) factor in morphological organization. Analyzing some classic arguments, we propose incorporating the notion of ‘downward causation’ into the concept of ‘natural selection.’ In our opinion, this kind of causation is fundamental to the operation of selection as a creative evolutionary process.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Moya, Andrés
Keywords: downward causation, levels of hierarchical organization, natural selection, positive view
Depositing User: Users 15304 not found.
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2014 16:52
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2014 16:52
Item ID: 10742
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophy and Theory in Biology
Publisher: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.3998/ptb.6959004.0003.002
Date: May 2011
Page Range: pp. 1-14
Volume: 3
Number: 201306
ISSN: 1949-0739

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item