Walsh, D. M.

Organisms are like nothing else in the natural world. They are agents. Methodological vitalism is a view according to which the difference that organisms make to the natural world cannot be captured wholly if we treat them as mere objects. Understanding agency calls for a different kind of theory, an agent theory. Most of our scientific theories are object theories. The modern synthesis theory of evolution is a prominent example of object theory. Being the way it is, it cannot countenance the contribution to evolution that organisms make as agents. A comprehensive account of adaptive evolution requires an agent theory.