PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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I propose that heritability estimates can bear a causal interpretation when: (a) there is no statistical gene-environment interaction, (b) there is small to no gene-environment correlation, and (c) only within the domain of populations that have similar causally salient features (Sesardic, 2005; Tal, 2009, 2011). When these conditions are met, it makes sense to causally interpret that heritability estimate as a measure of the causal strength of differences in genes on total phenotypic variance. Viewed in this different light, a question arises about the power of heritability to predict diseases in populations, and perhaps even in individuals.

Author Information:

Zinhle Mncube    
University of Johannesburg


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