Problems for Natural Selection as a Mechanism

Philosophy of Science 78 (3):512-523 (2011)
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Abstract
Skipper and Millstein analyze natural selection and mechanism, concluding that natural selection is not a mechanism in the sense of the new mechanistic philosophy. Barros disagrees and provides his own account of natural selection as a mechanism. This discussion identifies a missing piece of Barros's account, attempts to fill in that piece, and reconsiders the revised account. Two principal objections are developed: one, the account does not characterize natural selection; two, the account is not mechanistic. Extensive and persistent variability causes both of these difficulties, so further attempts to describe natural selection as a mechanism are also unlikely to succeed.
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Archival date: 2015-01-14
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References found in this work BETA
Thinking About Mechanisms.Machamer, Peter K.; Darden, Lindley & Craver, Carl F.
Darwin's Dangerous Idea.Dennett, Daniel C.

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Citations of this work BETA
Natural Kindness.Slater, Matthew
Natural Selection.Brandon, Robert

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2012-08-27

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