Typology and Organismal Dispositions in Evo-Devo: A Metaphysical Approach


In this paper, we address the characterization of the variational tendencies attributed to homologous traits in evo-devo. After arguing that current theories of homology cannot properly explain why traits do, in fact, vary, we propose to characterize them as disposional natural kinds. In doing so, we appeal to metaphysical resources regarding the characterization of dispositions. From this metaphysical framework, it is possible to argue that only by attributing dispositions to traits (conceived of as natural kinds), is it possible to make sense of their causal and explanatory power. We argue that this particular case study constitutes an example of a kind of interaction between metaphysics and biology that we label Metaphysics from Biology, where the specific demands of a complex reality such as evolution require the development of metaphysical notions that seem to go beyond those present in the literature.
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