Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 40 (3):228-234 (2009)
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
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References found in this work BETA
The Units of Selection Revisited: The Modules of Selection. [REVIEW]Robert N. Brandon - 1999 - Biology and Philosophy 14 (2):167-180.
Evolutionary Explanations of Human Behaviour.Kim Sterelny - 1992 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70 (2):156 – 173.
Citations of this work BETA
Selection, Drift, and Independent Contrasts: Defending the Methodological Foundations of the FIC. [REVIEW]Armin W. Schulz - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (1):38-47.
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