Heritability and Genetic Causation

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Oftedal, Gry
conference paper description
The method in human genetics of ascribing causal responsibility to genotype by the use of heritability estimates has been heavily criticized over the years. It has been argued that these estimates are rarely valid and do not serve the purpose of tracing genetic causes. Recent contributions strike back at this criticism. I present and discuss two opposing views on these matters represented by Richard Lewontin and Neven Sesardic, and I suggest that some of the disagreement is based on differing concepts of genetic causation. I use the distinction of structuring and triggering causes to help clarifying the basis for the opposing views.