A Priori Causal Models of Natural Selection

  title={A Priori Causal Models of Natural Selection},
  author={Elliott Sober},
  journal={Australasian Journal of Philosophy},
  pages={571 - 589}
  • E. Sober
  • Published 2011
  • Psychology
  • Australasian Journal of Philosophy
To evaluate Hume's thesis that causal claims are always empirical, I consider three kinds of causal statement: ‘e1 caused e2 ’, ‘e1 promoted e2 ’, and ‘e1 would promote e2 ’. Restricting my attention to cases in which ‘e1 occurred’ and ‘e2 occurred’ are both empirical, I argue that Hume was right about the first two, but wrong about the third. Standard causal models of natural selection that have this third form are a priori mathematical truths. Some are obvious, others less so. Empirical work… Expand
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