Concepts View

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Reciprocal Causation

A form of causal relationship in which two processes exert a mutual influence on one another; or, a form of causation involving interactions and feedback across multiple causal levels.


Buskell, A. (2019). “Reciprocal causation and the extended evolutionary synthesis.” Biological Theory 14:267–279.

Regulation (or, Biological Regulation)

The capacity of biological systems to modulate their component processes in response to changes in internal or external conditions. Often, regulation is achieved by designated subsystems that are partly independent of the dynamics of controlled processes.


Bich, L., Mossio, M., Ruiz-Mirazo, K. and A. Moreno. (2016). “Biological regulation: controlling the system from within.” Biology & Philosophy 31:237–265.

Allied Concepts:
Autonomy, Modularity, Niche construction, Plasticity, Robustness,


An entity that passes on its structure largely intact through successive replications.


Hull, D.L. (1980). “Individuality and selection.” Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 11:311–322.


The ability of a system to maintain its functionality and organization despite internal and external perturbations.


Kitano, H. (2004). “Biological robustness.” Nature Reviews Genetics 5(11):826–837.

Allied Concepts:
Autonomy, Evolvability, Modularity, Niche construction, Plasticity