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  1. The Theory of Probability.Hans Reichenbach - 1949 - Berkeley: University of California Press.
    We must restrict to mere probability not only statements of comparatively great uncertainty, like predictions about the weather, where we would cautiously ...
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  • Are Random Drift and Natural Selection Conceptually Distinct?Roberta L. Millstein - 2001 - Biology and Philosophy 17 (1):33-53.
    The latter half of the twentieth century has been marked by debates in evolutionary biology over the relative significance of natural selection and random drift: the so-called “neutralist/selectionist” debates. Yet John Beatty has argued that it is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish the concept of random drift from the concept of natural selection, a claim that has been accepted by many philosophers of biology. If this claim is correct, then the neutralist/selectionist debates seem at best futile, and at worst, (...)
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  • The Trials of Life: Natural Selection and Random Drift.Denis M. Walsh, Andre Ariew & Tim Lewens - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (3):452-473.
    We distinguish dynamical and statistical interpretations of evolutionary theory. We argue that only the statistical interpretation preserves the presumed relation between natural selection and drift. On these grounds we claim that the dynamical conception of evolutionary theory as a theory of forces is mistaken. Selection and drift are not forces. Nor do selection and drift explanations appeal to the (sub-population-level) causes of population level change. Instead they explain by appeal to the statistical structure of populations. We briefly discuss the implications (...)
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  • The Propensity Interpretation of Fitness.Susan K. Mills & John H. Beatty - 1979 - Philosophy of Science 46 (2):263-286.
    The concept of "fitness" is a notion of central importance to evolutionary theory. Yet the interpretation of this concept and its role in explanations of evolutionary phenomena have remained obscure. We provide a propensity interpretation of fitness, which we argue captures the intended reference of this term as it is used by evolutionary theorists. Using the propensity interpretation of fitness, we provide a Hempelian reconstruction of explanations of evolutionary phenomena, and we show why charges of circularity which have been levelled (...)
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  • Adaptation and Evolutionary Theory.Robert N. Brandon - 1978 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 9 (3):181.
  • Is the Theory of Natural Selection a Statistical Theory?Alexander Rosenberg - 1988 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 18 (sup1):187-207.
  • The Indeterministic Character of Evolutionary Theory: No "No Hidden Variables Proof" but No Room for Determinism Either.Robert N. Brandon & Scott Carson - 1996 - Philosophy of Science 63 (3):315-337.
    In this paper we first briefly review Bell's (1964, 1966) Theorem to see how it invalidates any deterministic "hidden variable" account of the apparent indeterminacy of quantum mechanics (QM). Then we show that quantum uncertainty, at the level of DNA mutations, can "percolate" up to have major populational effects. Interesting as this point may be it does not show any autonomous indeterminism of the evolutionary process. In the next two sections we investigate drift and natural selection as the locus of (...)
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  • Two Ways of Thinking About Fitness and Natural Selection.Mohan Matthen & André Ariew - 2002 - Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):55-83.
    How do fitness and natural selection relate to other evolutionary factors like architectural constraint, mode of reproduction, and drift? In one way of thinking, drawn from Newtonian dynamics, fitness is one force driving evolutionary change and added to other factors. In another, drawn from statistical thermodynamics, it is a statistical trend that manifests itself in natural selection histories. It is argued that the first model is incoherent, the second appropriate; a hierarchical realization model is proposed as a basis for a (...)
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  • The Structure of Biological Science.Alexander Rosenberg - 1985 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book provides a comprehensive guide to the conceptual methodological, and epistemological problems of biology, and treats in depth the major developments in molecular biology and evolutionary theory that have transformed both biology and its philosophy in recent decades. At the same time the work is a sustained argument for a particular philosophy of biology that unifies disparate issues and offers a framework for expectations about the future directions of the life sciences. The argument explores differences between autonomist and anti-autonomist (...)
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  • The Structure of Biological Science.Alexander Rosenberg - 1987 - Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):224-227.
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  • The Structure of Biological Science.Alexander Rosenberg - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (1):119-121.
     
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  • The Nature of Selection.Elliott Sober - 1986 - Behaviorism 14 (1):77-88.
  • Instrumental Biology, or, the Disunity of Science.Alexander Rosenberg - 1994 - University of Chicago Press.
    Do the sciences aim to uncover the structure of nature, or are they ultimately a practical means of controlling our environment? In Instrumental Biology, or the Disunity of Science, Alexander Rosenberg argues that while physics and chemistry can develop laws that reveal the structure of natural phenomena, biology is fated to be a practical, instrumental discipline. Because of the complexity produced by natural selection, and because of the limits on human cognition, scientists are prevented from uncovering the basic structure of (...)
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  • The Taming of Chance.Ian Hacking - 1990 - Cambridge University Press.
    In this important new study Ian Hacking continues the enquiry into the origins and development of certain characteristic modes of contemporary thought undertaken in such previous works as his best selling Emergence of Probability. Professor Hacking shows how by the late nineteenth century it became possible to think of statistical patterns as explanatory in themselves, and to regard the world as not necessarily deterministic in character. Combining detailed scientific historical research with characteristic philosophic breath and verve, The Taming of Chance (...)
     
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  • The Structure of Biological Science.Alexander Rosenberg - 1986 - Journal of the History of Biology 19 (1):161-162.
     
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  • Instrumental Biology or the Disunity of Science.Alexander Rosenberg - 1997 - Philosophical Quarterly 47 (186):120-122.
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  • Chance and Natural Selection.John Beatty - 1984 - Philosophy of Science 51 (2):183-211.
    Among the liveliest disputes in evolutionary biology today are disputes concerning the role of chance in evolution--more specifically, disputes concerning the relative evolutionary importance of natural selection vs. so-called "random drift". The following discussion is an attempt to sort out some of the broad issues involved in those disputes. In the first half of this paper, I try to explain the differences between evolution by natural selection and evolution by random drift. On some common construals of "natural selection", those two (...)
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  • Is the Theory of Natural Selection a Statistical Theory?Alexander Rosenberg - 1988 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 14:187.
     
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