Inclusive Fitness as a Measure of Biological Utility

Philosophy of Science 86 (1):1-22 (2019)

Abstract
This article is about the analogy between inclusive fitness and utility. In behavioral ecology, it is often assumed that individual organisms behave as if they were “striving” to maximize their inclusive fitness—a measure analogue to the kind of utility function that is used to represent the preferences of rational agents. Here, I explore some conceptual puzzles related to this view and question whether the kind of biological utility posited by the advocates of the “maximizing agent analogy” can be adequately interpreted in inclusive fitness terms.
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DOI 10.1086/701036
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