David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 75 (5):560-570 (2008)
Ecological fitness has been suggested to provide a unifying definition of fitness. However, a metric for this notion of fitness was in most cases unavailable except by proxy with differential reproductive success. In this article, I show how differential persistence of lineages can be used as a way to assess ecological fitness. This view is inspired by a better understanding of the evolution of some clonal plants, colonial organisms, and ecosystems. Differential persistence shows the limitation of an ensemblist noncausal understanding of evolution. Causal explanations are necessary to understand the evolution by natural selection of these biological systems. †To contact the author write to: Department of Philosophy, University of Montreal, P.O. Box 6128, Station Centre‐Ville, Montreal, Quebec, H3C 3J7 Canada; e‐mail: email@example.com.
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Citations of this work BETA
Ellen Clarke (2011). The Problem of Biological Individuality. Biological Theory 5 (4):312-325.
Frédéric Bouchard (2011). Darwinism Without Populations: A More Inclusive Understanding of the “Survival of the Fittest”. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (1):106-114.
Frédéric Bouchard (2010). Symbiosis, Lateral Function Transfer and the (Many) Saplings of Life. Biology and Philosophy 24 (4):623-641.
W. Ford Doolittle (2014). Natural Selection Through Survival Alone, and the Possibility of Gaia. Biology and Philosophy 29 (3):415-423.
Frédéric Bouchard (2009). Understanding Colonial Traits Using Symbiosis Research and Ecosystem Ecology. Biological Theory 4 (3):240-246.
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