Causal Selection in Context: Explaining Gene Centrism

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Submission Summary
There are two problems in the history and philosophy of genetics that seem to be related. One is the problem of causal selection in cellular and developmental processes. The other is the general approach of seeking genetic explanations, characterized by Ken Waters (2006) as ‘gene centrism.’ I argue that to understand this connection, we must consider the proximity of explanatory targets to DNA sequence. While the success of the genetic approach for proximate explanatory targets may be explained by the causal properties of DNA, its success for distal targets is better explained by the availability of the genetic framework itself.
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Graduate Student
University of California, Irvine

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