Fitness “kinematics”: biological function, altruism, and organism–environment development

Biology and Philosophy 24 (4):487-504 (2009)
Abstract
It’s recently been argued that biological fitness can’t change over the course of an organism’s life as a result of organisms’ behaviors. However, some characterizations of biological function and biological altruism tacitly or explicitly assume that an effect of a trait can change an organism’s fitness. In the first part of the paper, I explain that the core idea of changing fitness can be understood in terms of conditional probabilities defined over sequences of events in an organism’s life. The result is a notion of “conditional fitness” which is static but which captures intuitions about apparent behavioral effects on fitness. The second part of the paper investigates the possibility of providing a systematic foundation for conditional fitness in terms of spaces of sequences of states of an organism and its environment. I argue that the resulting “organism–environment history conception” helps unify diverse biological perspectives, and may provide part of a metaphysics of natural selection.
Keywords Philosophy   Evolutionary Biology   Philosophy of Biology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10539-009-9153-2
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: 28,106
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Counterfactuals.David K. Lewis - 1973 - Blackwell.

View all 23 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Unity of Fitness.Marshall Abrams - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):750-761.
Populations and Pigeons: Prosaic Pluralism About Evolutionary Causes.Marshall Abrams - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):294-301.
The Early History of Chance in Evolution.Charles H. Pence - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 50:48-58.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
The Unity of Fitness.Marshall Abrams - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):750-761.
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.
Mirror Imagery and Biological Selection.Roy Sorensen - 2002 - Biology and Philosophy 17 (3):409-422.
Fitness and Function.D. M. Walsh - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (4):553-574.
Fitness and Propensity's Annulment?Marshall Abrams - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):115-130.

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-02-07

Total downloads

103 ( #49,103 of 2,171,697 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #326,424 of 2,171,697 )

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