Publication 8210

Rubin S. (2022) Is Natural Drift a Mechanism?. Constructivist Foundations 18(1): 112–114. Fulltext at
Open peer commentary on the article “Natural Drift: A Minimal Theory with Maximal Consequences” by Jorge Mpodozis. Abstract: In its current formulation, natural drift, despite being non-adaptationist, apparently follows the machine metaphor. I scrutinize the notion of machines on the basis of the four Aristotelian causes and argue that, following Rosen’s work, living systems are causal systems but not mechanisms and, therefore, not “machines.” This leads to the question as to whether natural drift is a blind and reactive mechanism or whether it entails anticipation in the sense that organisms are able to distinguish the potential effects of their actions on their environment. This aspect has a bearing on the question of whether natural drift can account for the origin of Earth’s habitability.


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