David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 4 (3):255-273 (1989)
The theory of natural selection is a rich systematization of biological knowledge without a first principle. When formulations of a proposed principle of natural selection are examined carefully, each is seen to be exhaustively analyzable into a proposition about sources of fitness and a proposition about consequences of fitness. But whenever the fitness of an organic variety is well defined in a given biological situation, its sources are local contingencies together with the background of laws from disciplines other than the theory of natural selection; and the consequences of fitness for the long range fate of organic varieties are essentially applications of probability theory. Hence there is no role and no need for a principle of the theory of natural selection, and any generalities that may hold in that theory are derivative rather than fundamental.
|Keywords||Natural Selection Evolution Principle Probability Propensity|
|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
Robert N. Brandon (1978). Adaptation and Evolutionary Theory. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 9 (3):181-206.
Susan K. Mills & John H. Beatty (1979). The Propensity Interpretation of Fitness. Philosophy of Science 46 (2):263-286.
Jacques Monod (1971/1972). Chance and Necessity. New York,Vintage Books.
C. S. Peirce (1877). The Fixation of Belief. Popular Science Monthly 12 (1):1--15.
Citations of this work BETA
M. J. S. Hodge (1991). Discussion Note: Darwin, Whewell, and Natural Selection. Biology and Philosophy 6 (4):457-460.
Abner Shimony (1989). Reply to Sober. Biology and Philosophy 4 (3):281-286.
Sober Elliott (1989). Is the Theory of Natural Selection Unprincipled? A Reply to Shimony. Biology and Philosophy 4 (3):275-279.
Similar books and articles
Alex Rosenberg & Frederic Bouchard (2005). Matthen and Ariew's Obituary for Fitness: Reports of its Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):343-353.
David B. Resnik (1988). Survival of the Fittest: Law of Evolution or Law of Probability? [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 3 (3):349-362.
Frédéric Bouchard & Alex Rosenberg (2004). Fitness, Probability and the Principles of Natural Selection. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):693-712.
Robert Brandon, Natural Selection. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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.
Mohan Matthen & André Ariew (2002). Two Ways of Thinking About Fitness and Natural Selection. Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):55-83.
Ulrich Krohs (2006). The Changeful Fate of a Groundbreaking Insight: The Darwinian Fitness Principle Caught in Different Webs of Belief. Yearbook for European Culture of Science 2:107-124.
Robert N. Brandon (1980). A Structural Description of Evolutionary Theory. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:427 - 439.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads50 ( #37,975 of 1,413,407 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #51,624 of 1,413,407 )
How can I increase my downloads?