In Grant Ramsey & Charles H. Pence (eds.), Chance in Evolution. Chicago, IL, USA: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 76-102 (2016)

Authors
Lucas J. Matthews
Columbia University
Anya Plutynski
Washington University in St. Louis
Daniel Molter
University of Utah
Abstract
The modern synthesis in evolutionary biology is taken to be that period in which a consensus developed among biologists about the major causes of evolution, a consensus that informed research in evolutionary biology for at least a half century. As such, it is a particularly fruitful period to consider when reflecting on the meaning and role of chance in evolutionary explanation. Biologists of this period make reference to “chance” and loose cognates of “chance,” such as: “random,” “contingent,” “accidental,” “haphazard,” or “stochastic.” Of course, what an author might mean by “chance” in any specific context varies. In the following, we first offer a historiographical note on the synthesis. Second, we introduce five ways in which synthesis authors spoke about chance. We do not take these to be an exhaustive taxonomy of all possible ways in which chance meaningfully figures in explanations in evolutionary biology. These are simply five common uses of the term by biologists at this period. They will serve to organize our summary of the collected references to chance and the analysis and discussion of the following questions: • What did synthesis authors understand by chance? • How did these authors see chance operating in evolution? • Did their appeals to chance increase or decrease over time during the synthesis? That is, was there a “hardening” of the synthesis, as Gould claimed (1983)?
Keywords chance in evolution  modern synthesis
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on Amazon.com
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Evolutionary Chance Mutation: A Defense of the Modern Synthesis' Consensus View.Francesca Merlin - 2010 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 2 (20130604).
Chances and Causes in Evolutionary Biology: How Many Chances Become One Chance.Roberta L. Millstein - 2011 - In P. M. Illari, F. Russo & J. Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press. pp. 2--425.
Chance as an Explanatory Factor in Evolutionary Biology.Timothy Shanahan - 1991 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 13 (2):249 - 268.
Chance in Evolution.Grant Ramsey & Charles H. Pence (eds.) - 2016 - Chicago: University of Chicago.
Monod's Concept of Chance: Its Diversity and Relevance Today.Francesca Merlin - 2016 - Comptes Rendus de Biologie de l'Académie des Sciences 338:406-412.
Deterministic Chance?Jonathan Schaffer - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (2):113-140.
Evo-Devo and the Structure(s) of Evolutionary Theory: A Different Kind of Challenge.Alan Love - 2017 - In Philippe Huneman & Denis M. Walsh (eds.), Challenging the Modern Synthesis. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 159-187.
Principled Chances.Jonathan Schaffer - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (1):27-41.
Chance in the Everett Interpretation.Simon Saunders - 2010 - In Simon Saunders, Jonathan Barrett, Adrian Kent & David Wallace (eds.), Many Worlds?: Everett, Quantum Theory & Reality. Oxford University Press.
Chance and Macroevolution.Roberta L. Millstein - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (4):603-624.
The Early History of Chance in Evolution.Charles H. Pence - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 50:48-58.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-07-04

Total views
191 ( #62,318 of 2,520,806 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
12 ( #62,359 of 2,520,806 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes