Chance in Evolution

Chicago: University of Chicago (2016)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Evolutionary biology since Darwin has seen a dramatic entrenchment and elaboration of the role of chance in evolution. It is nearly impossible to discuss contemporary evolutionary theory in any depth at all without making reference to at least some concept of “chance” or “randomness.” Many processes are described as chancy, outcomes are characterized as random, and many evolutionary phenomena are thought to be best described by stochastic or probabilistic models. Chance is taken by various authors to be central to the understanding of fitness, genetic drift, macroevolution, mutation, foraging theory, and environmental variation, to take but a few examples. And for each of these notions, there are yet more stories to tell. Each weaves itself into the various branches of evolutionary theory in myriad different ways, with a wide variety of effects on the history and current state of life on Earth. Each is grounded in a particular trajectory in the history of philosophy and the history of biology, and has inspired a variety of responses throughout science and culture. This book endeavors to offer a cross-section of biological, historical, philosophical, and theological approaches to understanding chance in evolutionary theory.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,150

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Early History of Chance in Evolution.Charles H. Pence - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 50:48-58.
Evolution: Teleology or chance? [REVIEW]F. J. K. Soontiëns - 1991 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 22 (1):133-141.
A philosophical guide to chance.Toby Handfield - 2012 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Chance as an Explanatory Factor in Evolutionary Biology.Timothy Shanahan - 1991 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 13 (2):249 - 268.
On the Meaning of Chance in Biology.James A. Coffman - 2014 - Biosemiotics 7 (3):377-388.
Principled chances.Jonathan Schaffer - 2003 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (1):27-41.
Chance Variation: Darwin on Orchids.John Beatty - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):629-641.
Imprecise Probability and Chance.Anthony F. Peressini - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (3):561-586.
Genealogical Explanations of Chance and Morals.Toby Handfield - 2016 - In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press UK.
Pre-biological evolution.A. Quispel - 1968 - Acta Biotheoretica 18 (1-4):291-315.
The Irony of Chance: On Aristotle’s Physics B, 4-6.Pascal Massie - 2003 - International Philosophical Quarterly 43 (1):15-28.


Added to PP

82 (#205,380)

6 months
13 (#197,903)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Charles H. Pence
Université Catholique de Louvain

Citations of this work

The Nature of Programmed Cell Death.Pierre M. Durand & Grant Ramsey - 2019 - Biological Theory 14 (1):30-41.
Darwinism.James Lennox - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references