Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

The negative view of natural selection

Birch, Jonathan (2012) The negative view of natural selection. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 43 (2). pp. 569-573. ISSN 1369-8486

Full text not available from this repository.
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.shpsc.2012.02.002

Abstract

An influential argument due to Elliott Sober, subsequently strengthened by Denis Walsh and Joel Pust, moves from plausible premises to the bold conclusion that natural selection cannot explain the traits of individual organisms. If the argument were sound, the explanatory scope of selection would depend, surprisingly, on metaphysical considerations concerning origin essentialism. I show that the Sober-Walsh-Pust argument rests on a flawed counterfactual criterion for explanatory relevance. I further show that a more defensible criterion for explanatory relevance recently proposed by Michael Strevens lends support to the view that natural selection can be relevant to the explanation of individual traits.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/13698...
Additional Information: © 2012 Elsevier
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Sets: Departments > Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Date Deposited: 07 May 2015 09:37
Last Modified: 20 May 2020 02:38
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/61815

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item