Causal Equations without Ceteris Paribus Clauses

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Gildenhuys, Peter
preprint description
Some writers have urged that evolutionary theory produces generalizations that hold only ceteris paribus, that is, provided “everything else is equal.” Others have claimed that all laws in the special sciences, or even all laws in science generally, hold only ceteris paribus. However, if we lack a way to determine when everything else really is equal, hedging generalizations with the phrase ceteris paribus renders those generalizations vacuous. I propose a solution to this problem for the case of causal equations from classical population genetics. When coupled with the right proviso, equations in classical population genetics function as strict laws.