David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 46 (2):263-286 (1979)
The concept of "fitness" is a notion of central importance to evolutionary theory. Yet the interpretation of this concept and its role in explanations of evolutionary phenomena have remained obscure. We provide a propensity interpretation of fitness, which we argue captures the intended reference of this term as it is used by evolutionary theorists. Using the propensity interpretation of fitness, we provide a Hempelian reconstruction of explanations of evolutionary phenomena, and we show why charges of circularity which have been levelled against explanations in evolutionary theory are mistaken. Finally, we provide a definition of natural selection which follows from the propensity interpretation of fitness, and which handles all the types of selection discussed by biologists, thus improving on extant definitions
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Marshall Abrams (2009). Fitness “Kinematics”: Biological Function, Altruism, and Organism–Environment Development. Biology and Philosophy 24 (4):487-504.
Erika Milam, Roberta L. Millstein, Angela Potochnik & Joan Roughgarden (2011). Sex and Sensibility: The Role of Social Selection. Metascience 20 (2):253-277.
Abner Shimony (1989). The Non-Existence of a Principle of Natural Selection. Biology and Philosophy 4 (3):255-273.
John Richardson (2002). Nietzsche Contra Darwin. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (3):537-575.
Jonathan Barrett (1991). Really Taking Darwin and the Naturalistic Fallacy Seriously: An Objection to Rottschaefer and Martinsen. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 6 (4):433-437.
Similar books and articles
Costas B. Krimbas (2004). On Fitness. Biology and Philosophy 19 (2):185-203.
Henry Byerly (1986). Fitness as a Function. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:494 - 501.
Alfred Nordmann (1990). Persistent Propensities: Portrait of a Familiar Controversy. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 5 (4):379-399.
Frédéric Bouchard & Alex Rosenberg (2004). Fitness, Probability and the Principles of Natural Selection. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):693-712.
Henry C. Byerly & Richard E. Michod (1991). Fitness and Evolutionary Explanation. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 6 (1):45-53.
Alex Rosenberg (2004). Fitness, Probability and the Principles of Natural Selection. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):693 - 712.
C. Kenneth Waters (1986). Natural Selection Without Survival of the Fittest. Biology and Philosophy 1 (2):207-225.
Marshall Abrams (2007). Fitness and Propensity's Annulment? Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):115-130.
Andre Ariew (2009). What Fitness Can't Be. Erkenntnis 71 (3):289 - 301.
Robert C. Richardson & Richard M. Burian (1992). A Defense of Propensity Interpretations of Fitness. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:349 - 362.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads93 ( #13,141 of 1,102,882 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #46,874 of 1,102,882 )
How can I increase my downloads?