Sex and selection: A reply to Matthen

argues that when reproduction is sexual, natural selection can explain why individual organisms possess the traits they do. In stating his argument Matthen makes use of a conception of individual organisms as receptacles for collections of genes—a conception that cannot do the work Matthen requires of it. Either these receptacles are abstract objects, such as bare possibilities for organisms, or they are concrete. The first reading is too weak, since it allows selection to explain individual traits in both sexual and asexual contexts. The only concrete entities we might think of as receptacles for collections of genes are male or female gametes. It is true that in the sexual context selection explains why an individual gamete combines with a second gamete of one type rather than another; however, this is not to say that selection explains why an individual organism has the traits it does.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/52.3.589
 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
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,422
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
Ulrich E. Stegmann (2010). What Can Natural Selection Explain? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 41 (1):61-66.
Jonathan Birch (2012). The Negative View of Natural Selection. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (2):569-573.

View all 12 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

20 ( #232,682 of 1,924,768 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #308,315 of 1,924,768 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.