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# Are there any developmental codes?

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Slides used for grad student seminar on coding in trait development. Supported argument that there aren't really any developmental codes for traits.

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### Are there any developmental codes?

1. 1. Are there any developmental codes?<br />
2. 2. Motivation<br />Causing and coding are different questions.<br />Do genes code for traits?<br />Does anything code for traits?<br />2<br />
3. 3. Codes<br />A code is a rule for converting information<br />Caesar’s Code<br />ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ<br />DEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZABC<br />3<br />
4. 4. Morse Code<br />4<br />
5. 5. Genetic Code<br />5<br />
6. 6. Developmental Codes<br />All developmental codes are causes<br />(M) X causes Y iff there are background circumstances B such that if some (single) intervention that changes the value of X (and no other variable) were to occur in B, then Y or the probability distribution of Y would change.<br />Woodward (2010)<br />6<br />
7. 7. Specificity<br />All developmental codes are specific<br />Some cause C, has specificity over an effect E, to the degree that changes in the cause (C1, C2, C3…) tend to produce changes in the effect (E1, E2, E3…)<br />7<br />
8. 8. Proportionality<br />All developmental codes are proportional to their effects<br />Causes and effects are in proportion if the causes and effects are neither too broad, nor too narrow, in comparison to each other<br />8<br />
9. 9. Proportional Causal Specificity is not sufficient for Coding<br />9<br />
10. 10. 10<br />
11. 11. Semantic Information <br />Representations<br />Codes<br />11<br />
12. 12. Developmental Codes<br />Satisfy causal criteria (M)<br />Be specific<br />Be proportional<br />Represent outcomes<br />12<br />
13. 13. DNA and Information<br />I argue (elsewhere) that DNA cannot carry semantic information, therefore no representation.<br />Others may claim representation without information but in these cases (of mis-information) there is still no coding<br />Not rehashing these arguments today<br />13<br />
14. 14. Intentionality<br />There are other developmental causes than DNA<br />Representations must have ‘directedness’ on something, i.e. intentionality.<br />Mental states possess intentionality<br />So do artifacts, when it is derived from minds<br />14<br />
15. 15. Cultural Artifact:<br />Second order / Derived Intentionality<br />Mental State: <br />Intentional (directedness, aboutness)<br />{DOG}<br />15<br />
16. 16. Alice<br />16<br />
17. 17. Alice and Representation<br />17<br />Alice<br />Student Trait<br />Teacher Intention<br />Building Plans<br />Constructed Outcome<br />Architect’s Intention<br />
18. 18. Summary<br />Genes lack representational properties, especially directed at the ‘outcome’ of development.<br />If one believes genes code for developmental outcomes, then so do a host of other factors<br />But saying ‘gene for’ doesn’t have to imply coding.<br />If one doesn’t believe genes code, then other elements still can (teacher intention, perhaps artifacts)<br />18<br />