Is Organismic Fitness at the Basis of Evolutionary Theory?

Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1081-1091 (2015)
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Abstract

Fitness is a central theoretical concept in evolutionary theory. Despite its importance, much debate has occurred over how to conceptualize and formalize fitness. One point of debate concerns the roles of organismic and trait fitness. In a recent addition to this debate, Elliott Sober argues that trait fitness is the central fitness concept, and that organismic fitness is of little value. In this paper, by contrast, we argue that it is organismic fitness that lies at the bases of both the conceptual role of fitness, as well as its role as a measure of evolutionary dynamics.

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Charles H. Pence
Université Catholique de Louvain

Citations of this work

Natural selection and the reference grain problem.Pierrick Bourrat - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 80:1-8.
Fitness: static or dynamic?Peter Takacs & Pierrick Bourrat - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (4):1-20.
Inclusive Fitness as a Criterion for Improvement.Jonathan Birch - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 76 (C):101186.

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References found in this work

On the origin of species.Charles Darwin - 1964 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Gillian Beer.
Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2009 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
The propensity interpretation of fitness.Susan K. Mills & John H. Beatty - 1979 - Philosophy of Science 46 (2):263-286.
A New Foundation for the Propensity Interpretation of Fitness.Charles H. Pence & Grant Ramsey - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):851-881.

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