Causal equations without ceteris paribus clauses

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Causal equations without ceteris paribus clauses

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Title: Causal equations without ceteris paribus clauses
Author: Gildenhuys, Peter
Abstract: Some writers have urged that evolutionary theory produces generalizations that hold only ceteris paribus, that is, provided "everything else is equal." Others have claimed that all laws in the special sciences, or even all laws in science generally, hold only ceteris paribus. However, if we lack a way to determine when everything else really is equal, hedging generalizations with the phrase "ceteris paribus" renders those generalizations vacuous. In what follows, I propose a solution to this problem for the case of causal equations from classical population genetics. My proviso is generated on the basis of a couple of conceptual maneuvers, "tricks," which should be usable elsewhere too.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10385/870
Date: 2010-10

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