An Emerging Dilemma for Reciprocal Causation

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Submission Summary
Reciprocal causation is the view that adaptive evolution is a bidirectional process, whereby organisms and environments impinge on each other through cycles of niche construction and natural selection. I argue, however, that reciprocal causation is incompatible with the recent view that natural selection is a metaphysically emergent causal process. The emergent character of selection places reciprocal causation on the horns of dilemma, and neither horn can rescue the causal interdependency between selection and niche construction. Therefore, I conclude that proponents of reciprocal causation must abandon the claim that the process of natural selection features in cycles of reciprocal causation.
Submission ID :
PSA2022484
Submission Type
Speaker
,
Duke University

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