There is no Asymmetry of Identity Assumptions in the Debate over Selection and Individuals

Philosophy of Science 82 (1):21-31 (2015)
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A long-running dispute concerns which adaptation-related explananda natural selection can be said to explain. At issue are explananda of the form: why a given individual organism has a given adaptation rather than that same individual having another trait. It is broadly agreed that one must be ready to back up a “no” answer with an appropriate theory of trans-world identity for individuals. I argue, against the conventional wisdom, that the same is true for a “yes” answer. My conclusion recasts the landscape and opens the door to a potential resolution.
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