On the adaptations of organisms and the fitness of types

Philosophy of Science 57 (3):499-513 (1990)
Abstract
We claim that much of the confusion associated with the "tautology problem" about survival of the fittest is due to the mistake of attributing fitness to individuals instead of to types. We argue further that the problem itself cannot be solved merely by taking fitness as the aggregate cause of reproductive success. We suggest that a satisfying explanation must center not on logical analysis of the concept of general adaptedness but on the empirical analysis of single adapted traits and their causal relationship to changes in allele frequencies
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