Why the Causal View of Fitness Survives

Philosophy of Science 78 (2):209-224 (2011)
We critically examine Denis Walsh’s latest attack on the causalist view of fitness. Relying on Judea Pearl’s Sure-Thing Principle and geneticist John Gillespie’s model for fitness, Walsh has argued that the causal interpretation of fitness results in a reductio. We show that his conclusion only follows from misuse of the models, that is, (1) the disregard of the real biological bearing of the population-size parameter in Gillespie’s model and (2) the confusion of the distinction between ordinary probability and Pearl’s causal probability. Properly understood, the models used by Walsh do not threaten the causalist view of fitness.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA
    Robert Northcott (2010). Walsh on Causes and Evolution. Philosophy of Science 77 (3):457-467.
    Citations of this work BETA
    Marshall Abrams (2013). Populations and Pigeons: Prosaic Pluralism About Evolutionary Causes. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):294-301.
    Similar books and articles
    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.
    André Ariew & R. C. Lewontin (2004). The Confusions of Fitness. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (2):347-363.
    Henry Byerly (1986). Fitness as a Function. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:494 - 501.
    Andre Ariew (2009). What Fitness Can't Be. Erkenntnis 71 (3):289 - 301.

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    27 ( #54,521 of 1,089,047 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,722 of 1,089,047 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.