Philosophy of Science 45 (1):96-109 (1978)
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These days 'evolution' is usually defined as any change in the relative frequencies of genes in a population over time. This definition and some obvious alternatives are examined and rejected. The criticism of these definitions points out the need for a more holistic analysis of genotypes. I attempt such analysis by introducing measures of similarity of whole genotypes and then by grouping genotypes into similarity classes. Three sorts of measures of similarity are examined: a measure of structural similarity, a measure of functional similarity and one of relational or historical similarity. The functional approach is shown to be superior and a definition of 'evolution' is suggested



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Robert Brandon
Duke University

Citations of this work

Adaptation and Evolutionary Theory.Robert N. Brandon - 1978 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 9 (3):181.
Chance and natural selection.John Beatty - 1984 - Philosophy of Science 51 (2):183-211.
Natural selection without survival of the fittest.C. Kenneth Waters - 1986 - Biology and Philosophy 1 (2):207-225.
Positive heuristics in evolutionary biology.Richard E. Michod - 1981 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 32 (1):1-36.

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References found in this work

Ontological relativity and other essays.Willard Van Orman Quine (ed.) - 1969 - New York: Columbia University Press.
Essay Review: Sociobiology: Twenty-Five Years Later. [REVIEW]Edward O. Wilson - 1975 - Journal of the History of Biology 33 (3):577-584.

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