Evo-devo: a science of dispositions

Citation data:

European Journal for Philosophy of Science, ISSN: 1879-4912, Vol: 7, Issue: 2, Page: 373-389

Publication Year:
2017
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12651
DOI:
10.1007/s13194-016-0166-9
Author(s):
Austin, Christopher J.
Publisher(s):
Springer Nature
Tags:
Arts and Humanities
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article description
Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) represents a paradigm shift in the understanding of the ontogenesis and evolutionary progression of the denizens of the natural world. Given the empirical successes of the evo-devo framework, and its now widespread acceptance, a timely and important task for the philosophy of biology is to critically discern the ontological commitments of that framework and assess whether and to what extent our current metaphysical models are able to accommodate them. In this paper, I argue that one particular model is a natural fit: an ontology of dispositional properties coherently and adequately captures the crucial casual-cum-explanatory role that the fundamental elements of evo-devo play within that framework.

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