Causation in Biology

Samir Okasha

in The Oxford Handbook of Causation

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780199279739
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191577246 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Causation in Biology

Show Summary Details


This article is organized into four sections. The first section gives a brief historical survey of the contributions made by biologists to the understanding of causality. The second section looks at the role of causal concepts in the theory of evolution. The third section discusses Mayr's distinction between proximate and ultimate causation, and the related issue of teleological explanation. The fourth section looks at causation in genetics, with special reference to the nature–nurture problem.

Keywords: causality; theory of evolution; proximate causation; ultimate causation; teleological explanation; nature–nurture problem

Article.  8798 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics ; Philosophy of Science

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.