Causal selection in biochemistry: Making things by making things happen

Publication Year:
Usage 84
Downloads 84
Social Media 2
Tweets 2
Repository URL:
Ross, Lauren, N.
Most Recent Tweet View All Tweets
preprint description
Causal selection has to do with a distinction between mere background conditions and the "true" causes of some outcome of interest. Mainstream philosophical views claim that causal selection is "groundless" in the sense that it lacks any type of principled rationale (Schaffer 2016; Mill 1874; Lewis 1986). I argue against this position in the context of biochemistry where causal factors are selected in explanations of metabolic processes. These factors are selected on the basis of a principled rationale, which is best understood in terms of the causal control that they provide over an outcome of interest.