Document Detail

What can natural selection explain?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20185085     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
One approach to assess the explanatory power of natural selection is to ask what type of facts it can explain. The standard list of explananda includes facts like trait frequencies or the survival of particular organisms. Here, I argue that this list is incomplete: natural selection can also explain a specific kind of individual-level fact that involves traits. The ability of selection to explain this sort of fact ('trait facts') vindicates the explanatory commitments of empirical studies on microevolution. Trait facts must be distinguished from a closely related kind of fact, that is, the fact that a particular individual x has one trait rather than another. Whether or not selection can explain the latter type of fact is highly controversial. According to the so-called 'Negative View' it cannot be explained by selection. I defend the Negative View against Nanay's (2005) objection.
Ulrich E Stegmann
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2010-01-29
Journal Detail:
Title:  Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences     Volume:  41     ISSN:  1879-2499     ISO Abbreviation:  Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci     Publication Date:  2010 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-02-26     Completed Date:  2010-05-20     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9810965     Medline TA:  Stud Hist Philos Biol Biomed Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  61-6     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Department of Philosophy, University of Aberdeen, Old Brewery, Aberdeen, AB24 3UB, United Kingdom.
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MeSH Terms
Selection, Genetic*

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