Biophilosophy pp 125-149 | Cite as

Causality, Determinism, and Free Will

  • Rolf Sattler


According to my experience, the two most common kinds of questions biology students ask when encountering a new structure or process are the following: What is the cause? What is the purpose (or function)? An answer to the two questions is often considered tantamount to an understanding of the phenomena. In this chapter, I shall examine the notion of “cause” and “causality,” whereas purpose and function shall be discussed in the next chapter.


Living System Traditional Notion Network Causality Stochastic Action Circular Causality 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rolf Sattler
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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