Fitness and propensity's annulment?

Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):115-130 (2007)
Abstract
  Recent debate on the nature of probabilities in evolutionary biology has focused largely on the propensity interpretation of fitness (PIF), which defines fitness in terms of a conception of probability known as “propensity”. However, proponents of this conception of fitness have misconceived the role of probability in the constitution of fitness. First, discussions of probability and fitness have almost always focused on organism effect probability, the probability that an organism and its environment cause effects. I argue that much of the probability relevant to fitness must be organism circumstance probability, the probability that an organism encounters particular, detailed circumstances within an environment, circumstances which are not the organism’s effects. Second, I argue in favor of the view that organism effect propensities either don’t exist or are not part of the basis of fitness, because they usually have values close to 0 or 1. More generally, I try to show that it is possible to develop a clearer conception of the role of probability in biological processes than earlier discussions have allowed
Keywords Philosophy   Evolutionary Biology   Philosophy of Biology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10539-005-9010-x
Options
 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
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 25,767
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Philosophical Papers Vol. II.David Lewis - 1986 - Oxford University Press.
The Matter of Chance.D. H. Mellor - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hilary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Mechanistic Probability.Marshall Abrams - 2012 - Synthese 187 (2):343-375.
How Do Natural Selection and Random Drift Interact?Marshall Abrams - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (5):666-679.
The Unity of Fitness.Marshall Abrams - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):750-761.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Fitness, Probability and the Principles of Natural Selection.Frédéric Bouchard & Alex Rosenberg - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):693-712.
The Unity of Fitness.Marshall Abrams - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):750-761.
The Propensity Interpretation of Fitness.Susan K. Mills & John H. Beatty - 1979 - Philosophy of Science 46 (2):263-286.
What Fitness Can't Be.Andre Ariew - 2009 - Erkenntnis 71 (3):289 - 301.
A Defense of Propensity Interpretations of Fitness.Robert C. Richardson & Richard M. Burian - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:349 - 362.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

55 ( #91,071 of 2,146,977 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #184,833 of 2,146,977 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums