Four Pillars of Statisticalism


Authors
Mohan Matthen
University of Toronto at Mississauga
André Ariew
University of Missouri, Columbia
Abstract
Over the past fifteen years there has been a considerable amount of debate concerning what theoretical population dynamic models tell us about the nature of natural selection and drift. On the causal interpretation, these models describe the causes of population change. On the statistical interpretation, the models of population dynamics models specify statistical parameters that explain, predict, and quantify changes in population structure, without identifying the causes of those changes. Selection and drift are part of a statistical description of population change; they are not discrete, apportionable causes. Our objective here is to provide a definitive statement of the statistical position, so as to allay some confusions in the current literature. We outline four commitments that are central to statisticalism. They are: 1. Natural Selection is a higher order effect; 2. Trait fitness is primitive; 3. Modern Synthesis (MS)-models are substrate neutral; 4. MS-selection and drift are model-relative.
Keywords Modern Synthesis model  Darwinian model  causation  fitness  selection
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/ptb.6959004.0009.001
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Making Things Happen. A Theory of Causal Explanation.James Woodward - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):233-249.
The Dialectical Biologist.Richard Levins - 1985 - Harvard University Press.
The Taming of Chance.Ian Hacking - 1990 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 53 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Tracking Eudaimonia.Paul Bloomfield - 2018 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 10 (2).

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

An Explication of the Causal Dimension of Drift.Peter Gildenhuys - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):521-555.
Population Genetics.Roberta L. Millstein & Robert A. Skipper - 2006 - In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press.
Genetic Drift.Roberta L. Millstein - 2016 - Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy.
Driftability.Grant Ramsey - 2013 - Synthese 190 (17):3909-3928.
Drift Beyond Wright–Fisher.Hayley Clatterbuck - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3487-3507.
The Wrong Equations: A Reply to Gildenhuys.Bruce Glymour - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (4):675-681.
A Critical Review of the Statisticalist Debate.Jun Otsuka - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (4):459-482.
The Statistical Character of Evolutionary Theory.Barbara L. Horan - 1994 - Philosophy of Science 61 (1):76-95.
Manipulation and the Causes of Evolution.Kenneth Reisman & Patrick Forber - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1113-1123.
Natural Selection and the Maximization of Fitness.Jonathan Birch - 2016 - Biological Reviews 91 (3):712-727.
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
2017-06-10

Total views
97 ( #79,194 of 2,250,069 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
38 ( #19,019 of 2,250,069 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature