Interpreting heritability causally

Kate E. Lynch, Pierrick Bourrat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

A high heritability estimate usually corresponds to a situation in which trait variation is largely caused by genetic variation. However, in some cases of gene-environment covariance, causal intuitions about the sources of trait difference can vary, leading experts to disagree as to how the heritability estimate should be interpreted. We argue that the source of contention for these cases is an inconsistency in the interpretation of the concepts ‘genotype’, ‘phenotype’, and ‘environment’. We propose an interpretation of these terms under which trait variance initially caused by genetic variance is subsumed into a heritability for all cases of gene-environment covariance.

LanguageEnglish
Pages14-34
Number of pages21
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Volume84
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

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Heritability
Gene
Phenotype
Inconsistency
Genotype
Intuition
Causal

Cite this

Lynch, Kate E. ; Bourrat, Pierrick. / Interpreting heritability causally. In: Philosophy of Science. 2017 ; Vol. 84, No. 1. pp. 14-34.
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Interpreting heritability causally. / Lynch, Kate E.; Bourrat, Pierrick.

In: Philosophy of Science, Vol. 84, No. 1, 01.01.2017, p. 14-34.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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