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 61 (2):313-333 (2010)
Elliott Sober and his defenders think of selection, drift, mutation, and migration as distinct evolutionary forces. This paper exposes an ambiguity in Sober's account of the force of selection: sometimes he appears to equate the force of selection with variation in fitness, sometimes with ‘selection for properties’. Sober's own account of fitness as a property analogous to life-expectancy shows how the two conceptions come apart. Cases where there is selection against variance in offspring number also show that selection and drift cannot be distinguished in the way Sober hopes for. These issues have significance beyond the parochial matter of the coherence of Sober's system. There is no good principled answer to the question of which features of a population should count among the contributors to fitness. This means there is no non-arbitrary account of the nature of selection
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References found in this work BETA
Mohan Matthen & André Ariew (2002). Two Ways of Thinking About Fitness and Natural Selection. Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):55-83.
Christopher Stephens (2004). Selection, Drift, and the “Forces” of Evolution. Philosophy of Science 71 (4):550-570.
Kenneth Reisman & Patrick Forber (2005). Manipulation and the Causes of Evolution. Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1113-1123.
Otávio Bueno (2002). On Representing the Relationship Between the Mathematical and the Empirical. Philosophy of Science 69 (3):497-518.
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.
Jacob Stegenga (2014). Population Pluralism and Natural Selection. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu003.
J. Otsuka (forthcoming). Causal Foundations of Evolutionary Genetics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu039.
Philippe Huneman (forthcoming). Inscrutability and the Opacity of Natural Selection and Random Genetic Drift: Distinguishing the Epistemic and Metaphysical Aspects. Erkenntnis:1-28.
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