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Beyond VersusThe Struggle to Understand the Interaction of Nature and Nurture$
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James Tabery

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027373

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027373.001.0001

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Population Thinking about Mechanisms: An Integrative Relationship

Population Thinking about Mechanisms: An Integrative Relationship

Chapter:
(p.101) 5 Population Thinking about Mechanisms: An Integrative Relationship
Source:
Beyond Versus
Author(s):

James Tabery

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262027373.003.0005

What is the relationship between scientists who study the causal mechanisms responsible for the development of traits and scientists who study the causes of variation responsible for differences in those traits? A number of characterizations of this relationship have been proposed which treat the two scientific approaches to explanation as incommensurably distinct and isolated from one another. This chapter instead offers a formulation of the relationship that sees the two scientific approaches as integratively related—as capable of pluralistically co-informing one another. The chapter draws on scholarship from the new mechanical philosophy and research on the concept of causation to formulate the integrative relationship.

Keywords:   Cause, Difference making, Explanation, Integration, Mechanism, New Mechanical Philosophy, Pluralism, Trait Development, Trait Difference, Variation

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