David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
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
Denis M. Walsh (2007). The Pomp of Superfluous Causes: The Interpretation of Evolutionary Theory. Philosophy of Science 74 (3):281-303.
Andre Ariew (2009). What Fitness Can't Be. Erkenntnis 71 (3):289 - 301.
Peter Gildenhuys (2009). An Explication of the Causal Dimension of Drift. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):521-555.
Philippe Huneman (2012). Natural Selection: A Case for the Counterfactual Approach. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 76 (2):171-194.
Matthew C. Haug (2007). Of Mice and Metaphysics: Natural Selection and Realized Population‐Level Properties. Philosophy of Science 74 (4):431-451.
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