Natural Selection and Multi-Level Causation

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Philosophy and Theory in Biology, ISSN: 1949-0739, Vol: 3, Issue: 20170609, Page: 1-14

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Martínez, Maximiliano, Moya, Andrés
University of Michigan Library, Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library
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In this paper, using a multilevel approach, we defend the positive role of natural selection in the generation of organismal form. Despite the currently widespread opinion that natural selection only plays a negative role in the evolution of form, we argue, in contrast, that the Darwinian factor is a crucial (but not exclusive) factor in morphological organization. Analyzing some classic arguments, we propose incorporating the notion of ‘downward causation’ into the concept of ‘natural selection.’ In our opinion, this kind of causation is fundamental to the operation of selection as a creative evolutionary process.

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