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One equation to rule them all: A philosophical analysis of the Price Equation.

Luque, Víctor (2016) One equation to rule them all: A philosophical analysis of the Price Equation. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This paper provides a philosophical analysis of the Price equation and its role in evolutionary theory. Traditional models in population genetics postulate simplifying assumptions in order to make the models mathematically tractable. On the contrary, the Price equation implies a very specific way of theorizing, starting with assumptions that we think are true and then deriving from them the mathematical rules of the system. I argue that the Price equation is a generalization-sketch, whose main purpose is to provide a unifying framework for researchers, helping them to develop specific models. The Price equation plays this role because, like other scientific principles, shows features as abstractness, unification and invariance. By underwriting this special role for the Price equation some recent disputes about it could be diverted.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Luque, Víctorvictor.luque@uv.es
Keywords: Price equation, generalization-sketch, abstractness, unification, invariance.
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Depositing User: Mr. Victor Luque
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2016 19:37
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2016 19:37
Item ID: 12404
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
General Issues > Structure of Theories
Date: 4 September 2016
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12404

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