Fitness: Philosophical Problems

eLS (2013)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Fitness plays many roles throughout evolutionary theory, from a measure of populations in the wild to a central element in abstract theoretical presentations of natural selection. It has thus been the subject of an extensive philosophical literature, which has primarily centered on the way to understand the relationship between fitness values and reproductive outcomes. If fitness is a probabilistic or statistical quantity, how is it to be defined in general theoretical contexts? How can it be measured? Can a single conceptual model for fitness be offered that applies in all biological cases, or must fitness measures be case-specific? Philosophers have explored these questions over the last several decades, largely in the context of an influential definition of fitness proposed in the late 1970s: the propensity interpretation. This interpretation as first described undeniably suffers from significant difficulties, and debate regarding the tenability of amendments and alternatives to it remains unsettled.
Categories
(categorize this paper)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
RAMFPP
Revision history
Archival date: 2015-11-21
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
The Trials of Life: Natural Selection and Random Drift.Walsh, Denis M.; Ariew, Andre & Lewens, Tim

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Is Cultural Fitness Hopelessly Confused?Ramsey, Grant & De Block, Andreas

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2013-06-14

Total views
260 ( #16,822 of 49,037 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
29 ( #23,888 of 49,037 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.