Population genetics and population thinking: Mathematics and the role of the individual

Philosophy of Science 71 (5):1189-1200 (2004)
Ernst Mayr has criticised the methodology of population genetics for being essentialist: interested only in “types” as opposed to individuals. In fact, he goes so far as to claim that “he who does not understand the uniqueness of individuals is unable to understand the working of natural selection” (1982, 47). This is a strong claim indeed especially since many responsible for the development of population genetics (especially Fisher, Haldane, and Wright) were avid Darwinians. In order to unravel this apparent incompatibility I want to examine the possible sources and implications of essentialism in this context and show why the kind of mathematical analysis found in Fisher's work is better seen as responsible for extending the theory of natural selection to a broader context rather than inhibiting its applicability.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/425241
 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: 23,674
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

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

45 ( #106,652 of 1,903,042 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #264,928 of 1,903,042 )

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.