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    Causal efficacy and the analysis of variance

    Northcott, Robert (2006) Causal efficacy and the analysis of variance. Biology & Philosophy 21 (2), pp. 253-276. ISSN 0169-3867.

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    The causal impacts of genes and environment on any one biological trait are inextricably entangled, and consequently it is widely accepted that it makes no sense in singleton cases to privilege either factor for particular credit. On the other hand, at a population level it may well be the case that one of the factors is responsible for more variation than the other. Standard methodological practice in biology uses the statistical technique of analysis of variance to measure this latter kind of causal efficacy. In this paper, I argue that: 1) analysis of variance is in fact badly suited to this role; and 2) a superior alternative definition is available that readily reconciles both the entangled-singleton and the population-variation senses of causal efficacy.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): analysis of variance, casual efficacy, counterfactuals, environment, genes, nature, nurture
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Philosophy
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2017 11:59
    Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 12:06


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