•  15
    Shades of Grey: Granularity, Pragmatics, and Non-Causal Explanation
    Perspectives on Science 27 (1): 68-87. 2019.
    Two obstacles seem to preclude any agreement on how causal explanations should be delimited from non-causal explanations. The first concerns the very definition of causal explanation, which determines how the boundary between causal and non-causal explanation is drawn. Even though most adhere to a relatively narrow definition of causal explanation and thus allow for non-causal explanations, it remains possible to adopt a very wide definition of causal explanation and thus to argue that all purpo…Read more
  •  2
    Natural selection, plasticity, and the rationale for largest-scale trends
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 68 25-33. 2018.
  •  21
    It is an ongoing controversy whether natural selection is a cause of population change, or a mere statistical description of how individual births and deaths accumulate. In this paper I restate the problem in terms of the reference class problem, and propose how the structure of stable equilibrium can provide a solution in continuity with biological practice. Insofar natural selection can be understood as a tendency towards equilibrium, key statisticalist criticisms are avoided. Further, in a mo…Read more
  •  23
    Symmetry breaking and the emergence of path-dependence
    Synthese (10): 4101-4131. 2017.
    Path-dependence offers a promising way of understanding the role historicity plays in explanation, namely, how the past states of a process can matter in the explanation of a given outcome. The two main existing accounts of path-dependence have sought to present it either in terms of dynamic landscapes or branching trees. However, the notions of landscape and tree both have serious limitations and have been criticized. The framework of causal networks is both more fundamental and more general th…Read more