David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):693-712 (2004)
We argue that a fashionable interpretation of the theory of natural selection as a claim exclusively about populations is mistaken. The interpretation rests on adopting an analysis of fitness as a probabilistic propensity which cannot be substantiated, draws parallels with thermodynamics which are without foundations, and fails to do justice to the fundamental distinction between drift and selection. This distinction requires a notion of fitness as a pairwise comparison between individuals taken two at a time, and so vitiates the interpretation of the theory as one about populations exclusively.
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Citations of this work BETA
Charles H. Pence & Grant Ramsey (2013). A New Foundation for the Propensity Interpretation of Fitness. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):851-881.
Denis M. Walsh (2007). The Pomp of Superfluous Causes: The Interpretation of Evolutionary Theory. Philosophy of Science 74 (3):281-303.
D. M. Walsh (2015). Variance, Invariance and Statistical Explanation. Erkenntnis 80 (3):469-489.
David Haig (2012). The Strategic Gene. Biology and Philosophy 27 (4):461-479.
Philippe Huneman (2015). Inscrutability and the Opacity of Natural Selection and Random Genetic Drift: Distinguishing the Epistemic and Metaphysical Aspects. Erkenntnis 80 (3):491-518.
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