Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 37 (2):256-268 (2006)
|Abstract||One finds intertwined with ideas at the core of evolutionary theory claims about frequencies in counterfactual and infinitely large populations of organisms, as well as in sets of populations of organisms. One also finds claims about frequencies in counterfactual and infinitely large populations—of events—at the core of an answer to a question concerning the foundations of evolutionary theory. The question is this: To what do the numerical probabilities found throughout evolutionary theory correspond? The answer in question says that evolutionary probabilities are “hypothetical frequencies” (including what are sometimes called “long-run frequencies” and “long-run propensities”). In this paper, I review two arguments against hypothetical frequencies. The arguments have implications for the interpretation of evolutionary probabilities, but more importantly, they seem to raise problems for biologists’ claims about frequencies in counterfactual or infinite populations of organisms and sets of populations of organisms. I argue that when properly understood, claims about frequencies in large and infinite populations of organisms and sets of populations are not threatened by the arguments. Seeing why gives us a clearer understanding of the nature of counterfactual and infinite population claims and probability in evolutionary theory.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
John D. Norton (1994). The Theory of Random Propositions. Erkenntnis 41 (3):325 - 352.
Robert C. Richardson (2006). Chance and the Patterns of Drift: A Natural Experiment. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):642-654.
Walter J. Bock (2010). Multiple Explanations in Darwinian Evolutionary Theory. Acta Biotheoretica 58 (1).
Bruce Glymour (2001). Selection, Indeterminism, and Evolutionary Theory. Philosophy of Science 68 (4):518-535.
Philippe Huneman (2012). Natural Selection: A Case for the Counterfactual Approach. Erkenntnis 76 (2):171-194.
J. Ellenberg & E. Sober (2011). Objective Probabilities in Number Theory. Philosophia Mathematica 19 (3):308-322.
David Magnus (1998). Evolution Without Change in Gene Frequencies. Biology and Philosophy 13 (2).
Hans-Rolf Gregorius (1996). Differentiation Between Populations and its Measurement. Acta Biotheoretica 44 (1).
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads6 ( #145,729 of 549,594 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #63,397 of 549,594 )
How can I increase my downloads?