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The Complex Nexus of Evolutionary Fitness

Suárez, Mauricio (2019) The Complex Nexus of Evolutionary Fitness. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The propensity nature of evolutionary fitness has long been appreciated and is nowadays amply discussed (Abrams, 2009, 2012; Ariew and Ernst, 2009; Ariew and Lewontin, 2004; Beatty and Finsen, 1989; Brandon, 1978; Drouet and Merlin, 2015; Mills and Beatty, 1979; Millstein, 2003, 2016; Pence and Ramsey, 2013; Sober, 1984, 2001, 2013, 2019; Walsh, 2010; Walsh, Ariew, Mahen, 2016; etc). The discussion has, however, on occasion followed long standing conflations in the philosophy of probability between propensities, probabilities, and frequencies. In this article, I apply a more recent conception of propensities in modelling practice (the ‘complex nexus of chance’, CNC) to some key issues, regarding whether and how fitness is explanatory, and how it ought to be represented mathematically. The ensuing complex nexus of fitness (CNF) emphasises the distinction between biological propensities and the probability distributions over offspring numbers that they give rise to; and how critical it is to distinguish the possession conditions of the underlying dispositional (physical and biological) properties from those of their probabilistic manifestations.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Suárez, Mauriciomsuarez@filos.ucm.es0000-0002-2842-3641
Additional Information: Submitted and under review - please check with author before quoting
Keywords: Philosophy of Biology (evolution); Philosophy of Probability; Philosophy of Statistics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Depositing User: Prof Mauricio Suárez
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2020 19:54
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2020 19:54
Item ID: 18310
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Date: July 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18310

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