Authors
Jonathan Birch
London School of Economics
Abstract
I distinguish two roles for a fitness concept in the context of explaining cumulative adaptive evolution: fitness as a predictor of gene frequency change, and fitness as a criterion for phenotypic improvement. Critics of inclusive fitness argue, correctly, that it is not an ideal fitness concept for the purpose of predicting gene-frequency change, since it relies on assumptions about the causal structure of social interaction that are unlikely to be exactly true in real populations, and that hold as approximations only given a specific type of weak selection. However, Hamilton took this type of weak selection, on independent grounds, to be responsible for cumulative assembly of complex adaptations. In this special context, I argue that inclusive fitness is distinctively valuable as a criterion for improvement and a standard for optimality. Yet to call inclusive fitness a criterion for improvement and a standard for optimality is not to make any claim about the frequency with which inclusive fitness optimization actually occurs in nature. This is an empirical question that cannot be settled by theory alone. I close with some reflections on the place of inclusive fitness in the long running clash between ‘causalist’ and ‘statisticalist’ conceptions of fitness.
Keywords inclusive fitness  natural selection  fitness  adaptation  optimality  kin selection
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2019.101186
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 52,956
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Hamilton’s Two Conceptions of Social Fitness.Jonathan Birch - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):848-860.
Social Revolution. [REVIEW]Jonathan Birch - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (4):571-581.
Collective Action in the Fraternal Transitions.Jonathan Birch - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):363-380.
Inclusive Fitness and the Sociobiology of the Genome.Herbert Gintis - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (4):477-515.
The Philosophy of Social Evolution.Jonathan Birch - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Formal Darwinism: Some Questions.Sahotra Sarkar - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (2):249-257.
Mental Disorders, Evolution, and Inclusive Fitness.Preti Antonio & Miotto Paola - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):419-420.
Functions Must Be Performed at Appropriate Rates in Appropriate Situations.G. Piccinini & Justin Garson - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (1):1-20.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-07-19

Total views
32 ( #306,221 of 2,343,714 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #83,355 of 2,343,714 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes