Quasi-independence, fitness, and advantageousness

I argue that the idea of ‘quasi-independence’ [Lewontin, R. C. . Adaptation. Scientific American, 239, 212–230] cannot be understood without attending to the distinction between fitness and advantageousness [Sober, E. . Philosophy of biology. Boulder: Westview Press]. Natural selection increases the frequency of fitter traits, not necessarily of advantageous ones. A positive correlation between an advantageous trait and a disadvantageous one may prevent the advantageous trait from evolving. The quasi-independence criterion is aimed at specifying the conditions under which advantageous traits will evolve by natural selection in this type of situation. Contrary to what others have argued [Sterelny, K. . Evolutionary explanations of human behavior. Australian Journal of Philosophy, 70, 156–172, and Sterelny, K., & Griffiths, P. . Sex and death. Chicago: University of Chicago Press], these conditions must involve a precise quantitative measure of the extent to which advantageous traits are beneficial, and the degree to which they are correlated with other traits. Driscoll [Driscoll, C. . Can behaviors be adaptations? Philosophy of Science, 71, 16–35] recognizes the need for such a measure, but I argue that she does not provide the correct formulation. The account of quasi-independence that I offer clarifies this point
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2009.06.004
 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: 28,182
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
The Adapted Mind.Kim Sterelny - 1995 - Biology and Philosophy 10 (3):365-380.
Can Behaviors Be Adaptations?Catherine Driscoll - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (1):16-35.
Evolutionary Explanations of Human Behaviour.Kim Sterelny - 1992 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70 (2):156 – 173.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Realism and Independence.C. S. Jenkins - 2005 - American Philosophical Quarterly 42 (3):199 - 209.
A Continuum of Mindfulness.Daniel Dennett & Ryan McKay - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):353-354.
Fitness: Philosophical Problems.James Maclaurin - 2001 - Encyclopedia of Life Sciences.
The Confusions of Fitness.André Ariew & R. C. Lewontin - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (2):347-363.
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.
Fitness as a Function.Henry Byerly - 1986 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:494 - 501.
Fitness and Propensity's Annulment?Marshall Abrams - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):115-130.
Probability in Biology: The Case of Fitness.Roberta L. Millstein - 2016 - In A. Hájek & C. R. Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 601-622.
Quasi-o-Minimal Structures.Oleg Belegradek, Ya'Acov Peterzil & Frank Wagner - 2000 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 65 (3):1115-1132.
The Unity of Fitness.Marshall Abrams - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):750-761.
Can Behaviors Be Adaptations?Catherine Driscoll - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (1):16-35.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

26 ( #196,936 of 2,172,029 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #325,967 of 2,172,029 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums