Further clarification on permissive and instructive causes


Calcott, B. (2019). Further clarification on permissive and instructive causes. Biology & Philosophy, 34(5), 50. Retrieved from https://www.dropbox.com/s/18ak6om2g5p0rpw/Calcott_2019_Further_Clarification_on_the_Permissive_instructive.pdf?dl=0


I respond to recent criticism of my analysis of the permissive-instructive distinction and outline problems with the alternative analysis on offer. Amongst other problems, I argue that the use of formal measures is unclear and unmotivated, that the distinction is conflated with others that are not equivalent, and that no good reasons are provided for thinking the alternative model or formal measure tracks what biologists are interested in.

I also clarify my own analysis where it has been misunderstood or ignored.