Biology and Philosophy 32 (1):97-125 (2017)

Victor J. Luque
University of Valencia
This paper provides a philosophical analysis of the Price equation and its role in evolutionary theory. Traditional models in population genetics postulate simplifying assumptions in order to make the models mathematically tractable. On the contrary, the Price equation implies a very specific way of theorizing, starting with assumptions that we think are true and then deriving from them the mathematical rules of the system. I argue that the Price equation is a generalization-sketch, whose main purpose is to provide a unifying framework for researchers, helping them to develop specific models. The Price equation plays this role because, like other scientific principles, shows features as abstractness, unification and invariance. By underwriting this special role for the Price equation some recent disputes about it could be diverted.
Keywords Price equation  Generalization-sketch  Abstractness  Unification  Invariance
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Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1007/s10539-016-9538-y
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References found in this work BETA

Evolution and the Levels of Selection.Samir Okasha - 2006 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Nature of Programmed Cell Death.Pierre M. Durand & Grant Ramsey - 2019 - Biological Theory 14 (1):30-41.
Drift and Evolutionary Forces: Scrutinizing the Newtonian Analogy.Víctor J. Luque - 2016 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 31 (3):397-410.
Generative Models.Sim-Hui Tee - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
Representation-supporting model elements.Sim-Hui Tee - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (1):1-24.

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