A New Foundation for the Propensity Interpretation of Fitness

Authors
Charles H. Pence
Université Catholique de Louvain
Abstract
The propensity interpretation of fitness (PIF) is commonly taken to be subject to a set of simple counterexamples. We argue that three of the most important of these are not counterexamples to the PIF itself, but only to the traditional mathematical model of this propensity: fitness as expected number of offspring. They fail to demonstrate that a new mathematical model of the PIF could not succeed where this older model fails. We then propose a new formalization of the PIF that avoids these (and other) counterexamples. By producing a counterexample-free model of the PIF, we call into question one of the primary motivations for adopting the statisticalist interpretation of fitness. In addition, this new model has the benefit of being more closely allied with contemporary mathematical biology than the traditional model of the PIF.
Keywords fitness  propensity  natural selection  adaptive dynamics
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2013
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axs037
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

References found in this work BETA

Natural Selection as a Population-Level Causal Process.Roberta L. Millstein - 2006 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (4):627-653.
Not a Sure Thing: Fitness, Probability, and Causation.Denis M. Walsh - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (2):147-171.
Fitness, Probability and the Principles of Natural Selection.Frédéric Bouchard & Alex Rosenberg - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):693-712.

View all 22 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Trait Fitness is Not a Propensity, but Fitness Variation Is.Elliott Sober - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):336-341.
Driftability.Grant Ramsey - 2013 - Synthese 190 (17):3909-3928.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Propensity Interpretation of Fitness.Susan K. Mills & John H. Beatty - 1979 - Philosophy of Science 46 (2):263-286.
Fitness and Propensity's Annulment?Marshall Abrams - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):115-130.
Probability in Biology: The Case of Fitness.Roberta L. Millstein - 2016 - In A. Hájek & C. R. Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 601-622.
A Defense of Propensity Interpretations of Fitness.Robert C. Richardson & Richard M. Burian - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:349 - 362.
Fitness, Probability and the Principles of Natural Selection.Frédéric Bouchard & Alex Rosenberg - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):693-712.
Fitness as a Function.Henry Byerly - 1986 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:494 - 501.
Natural Selection Without Survival of the Fittest.C. Kenneth Waters - 1986 - Biology and Philosophy 1 (2):207-225.
The Confusions of Fitness.André Ariew & R. C. Lewontin - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (2):347-363.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-07-20

Total downloads
391 ( #9,680 of 2,293,655 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
11 ( #43,550 of 2,293,655 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature