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Natural selection and contrastive explanation

Witteveen, Joeri (2019) Natural selection and contrastive explanation. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This article defends the Negative View of natural selection explanation, according to which natural selection cannot explain of any given individual why it has the traits it does. Over the years, this view has been criticized on empirical, metaphysical, and explanatory grounds. I review the debate and offer additional reasons for rejecting the empirical and metaphysical objections. The explanatory objection, which holds that the Negative View is rooted in a flawed account of contrastive explanation, initially seems plausible. However, I will argue that a closer consideration of the desiderata of contrastive explanation shows that this objection fails as well.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Witteveen, Joerij.wit@me.com0000-0003-1291-9156
Additional Information: Accepted for publication in Philosophy of Science
Keywords: Natural selection; contrastive explanation; origin essentialism; developmental explanation; explanatory presupposition
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Dr. Joeri Witteveen
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2019 12:03
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2019 12:03
Item ID: 15762
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
General Issues > Explanation
Date: 2019
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15762

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