Acta Biotheoretica 68 (3):367-385 (2020)

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Abstract
The propensity account of fitness intends to solve the classical tautologicity issue by identifying fitness with a disposition, the ability to survive and reproduce. As proponents recognized early on, this account requires operational independence from actual reproductive success to avoid circularity and vacuousness charges. They suggested that operational independence is achieved by measuring fitness values through optimality models. Our goal in this article is to develop this suggestion. We show that one plausible procedure by which these independent operationalizations could be thought to take place, and which is in accordance with what is said in the optimality literature, is unsound. We provide two independent lines of reasoning to show this. We then provide a sketch of a more adequate account of the role of optimality models in evolutionary contexts and draw some consequences.
Keywords Fitness   Optimality
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DOI 10.1007/s10441-019-09369-5
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References found in this work BETA

What Darwin Got Wrong.Jerry A. Fodor - 2010 - Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Adaptation and Evolutionary Theory.Robert N. Brandon - 1978 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 9 (3):181.
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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Citations of this work BETA

General Solution to All Philosophical Problems With Some Exceptions.Wayde Beasley - forthcoming - north of parallel 40: Numerous uncommitted.

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