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Sober's Use of Unanimity in the Units of Selection Problem
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association
Vol. 1986, Volume One: Contributed Papers (1986), pp. 473-482
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/193147
Page Count: 10
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Causation, Causality, Myocardial infarction, Natural selection, Philosophy of science, Censuses, Paradoxes, Ecological competition, Causal law, Population mean
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Sober argues that the units of selection problem in evolutionary biology is to be understood and solved by applying the general analysis of what it means for C to cause E in a population. The account he utilizes is the unanimity account, according to which C causes E in a population when C raises the probability of E in each causal context. I argue that he does not succeed here, both because the unanimity account is not well grounded in the general case, and because there are important differences between cases of population causation which do involve selection and those which do not.
PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association © 1986 The University of Chicago Press