Pluralism without Genic Causes?

Philosophy of Science 72 (2):334-341 (2005)
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Abstract

Since the fundamental challenge that I laid at the doorstep of the pluralists was to defend, with nonderivative models, a strong notion of genic cause, it is fatal that Waters has failed to meet that challenge. Waters agrees with me that there is only a single cause operating in these models, but he argues for a notion of causal ‘parsing’ to sustain the viability of some form of pluralism. Waters and his colleagues have some very interesting and important ideas about the sciences, involving pluralism and parsing or partitioning causes, but they are ideas in search of an example. He thinks he has found an example in the case of hierarchical and genic selection. I think he has not.

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Elisabeth Lloyd
Indiana University, Bloomington

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