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Convergence as Evidence

Currie, Adrian (2013) Convergence as Evidence. [Preprint]

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The comparative method grants epistemic access to the biological past. Comparing lineages provides empirical traction on both hypotheses about particular lineages and models of trait evolution. Understanding this evidential role is important. Although philosophers have recently turned their attention to relations of descent (homology), very little work exists exploring the status of evidence from convergences (analogy). I argue that, where they exist, convergences play a central role in the confirmation of adaptive hypotheses. I focus on ‘analogous inferences’ (inferences which take a trait/environment dyad from one lineage and project it to another), show how such inferences ought to be analyzed and suggest three methods for strengthening their evidential weight.

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Item Type: Preprint
Currie, Adrian
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Depositing User: Dr Adrian Currie
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2018 00:49
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2018 00:49
Item ID: 14609
Official URL:
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
General Issues > Confirmation/Induction
Date: 2013

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