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  • Book
  • © 2013

Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics

  • One of the first books to examine the relationships between philosophy, biology and economics

  • Offers a comprehensive review of causal and mechanistic issues in biology and economics

  • Discusses the philosophical investigation of conjoining biological and economic analyses with demography, medicine and sociology

Part of the book series: History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences (HPTL, volume 3)

Buying options

eBook USD 129.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-94-007-2454-9
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 169.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 169.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)

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Table of contents (12 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-x
  2. Towards the Methodological Turn in the Philosophy of Science

    • Hsiang-Ke Chao, Szu-Ting Chen, Roberta L. Millstein
    Pages 1-16
  3. Defining Mechanism and Causality

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 17-17
  4. Reconsidering Biological Mechanisms and Causality

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 123-123
    2. Mechanisms and Laws: Clarifying the Debate

      • Carl F. Craver, Marie I. Kaiser
      Pages 125-145
    3. Natural Selection and Causal Productivity

      • Roberta L. Millstein
      Pages 147-163
  5. Across Boundaries Between Biology and Economics

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 183-183
    2. Causality, Impartiality and Evidence-Based Policy

      • David Teira, Julian Reiss
      Pages 207-224
    3. Explaining the Explanations of 100 Million Missing Women

      • Hsiang-Ke Chao, Szu-Ting Chen
      Pages 225-242
  6. Back Matter

    Pages 243-256

About this book

This volume addresses fundamental issues in the philosophy of science in the context of two most intriguing fields: biology and economics. Written by authorities and experts in the philosophy of biology and economics, Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics provides a structured study of the concepts of mechanism and causality in these disciplines and draws careful juxtapositions between philosophical apparatus and scientific practice. By exploring the issues that are most salient to the contemporary philosophies of biology and economics and by presenting comparative analyses, the book serves as a platform not only for gaining mutual understanding between scientists and philosophers of the life sciences and those of the social sciences, but also for sharing interdisciplinary research that combines both philosophical concepts in both fields.

The book begins by defining the concepts of mechanism and causality in biology and economics, respectively. The second and third parts investigate philosophical perspectives of various causal and mechanistic issues in scientific practice in the two fields. These two sections include chapters on causal issues in the theory of evolution; experiments and scientific discovery; representation of causal relations and mechanism by models in economics. The concluding section presents interdisciplinary studies of various topics concerning extrapolation of life sciences and social sciences, including chapters on the philosophical investigation of conjoining biological and economic analyses with, respectively, demography, medicine and sociology.

Keywords

  • Causal issues in the theory of natural selection
  • Causal models
  • Causal structure
  • Connections between causation and mechanisms
  • Economic mechanisms
  • Mechanisms of genetics and biomedicine
  • Methodological turn in the philosophy of science
  • Modeling mechanisms
  • biology and economy
  • causality
  • mechanism
  • philosophy of biology
  • philosophy of economy

Reviews

From the reviews:

“Essays provides both a critical reappraisal of how far we’ve come, and an insight into future lines of inquiry. … to those with interests in general philosophy of science, and those with interests in interdisciplinary links among the special sciences. … I can strongly recommend it. Each of these papers is self-contained, but together they constitute intriguingly contrasting treatments of a variety of issues to do with causation, explanation, and the roles of mechanistic understanding in economics and biology.” (Anya Plutynski, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, Vol. 3 (23), 2013)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Economics, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan

    Hsiang-Ke Chao

  • Philosophy, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan

    Szu-Ting Chen

  • Department of Philosophy, University of California, Davis, Davis, USA

    Roberta L. Millstein

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 129.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-94-007-2454-9
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book USD 169.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 169.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)