Synthese 190 (17):3909-3928 (2013)

In this paper, I argue (contra some recent philosophical work) that an objective distinction between natural selection and drift can be drawn. I draw this distinction by conceiving of drift, in the most fundamental sense, as an individual-level phenomenon. This goes against some other attempts to distinguish selection from drift, which have argued either that drift is a population-level process or that it is a population-level product. Instead of identifying drift with population-level features, the account introduced here can explain these population-level features based on a property that I label driftability. Additionally, this account shows that biology’s “first law”—the Principle of Drift (Brandon, J Phil 102(7):319–335 2006)—is not a foundational law, but is a consequence of driftability
Keywords Drift  Fitness  Selection  Evolution  Population  Individual
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-012-0232-6
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References found in this work BETA

On the Origin of Species.Charles Darwin - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
Review of M Aking Things Happen.Eric Hiddleston - 2005 - Philosophical Review 114 (4):545-547.

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Three Kinds of Niche Construction.Bendik Hellem Aaby & Grant Ramsey - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:000-000.
The Causal Structure of Evolutionary Theory.Grant Ramsey - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (3):421-434.

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