Fitness and evolutionary explanation

H. C. Byerly, Richard E Michod

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent philosophical discussions have failed to clarify the roles of the concept fitness in evolutionary theory. Neither the propensity interpretation of fitness nor the construal of fitness as a primitive theoretical term succeed in explicating the empirical content and explanatory power of the theory of natural selection. By appealing to the structure of simple mathematical models of natural selection, the authors separate different contrasts which have tended to confuse discussions of fitness: the distinction between what fitness is defined as versus what fitness is a function of; the contrast between adaptedness as an overall property of organisms and specific adaptive capacities; the distinction between actual and potential reproductive success; the role of chance vs systematic causal relations; fitness as applied to organisms as opposed to fitness applied to genotype classes; heritable adaptive capacities of genotypes as opposed to relations between genotypes and the environment. (See also 92L/01109) . -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiology & Philosophy
Pages1-22
Number of pages22
Volume6
Edition1
StatePublished - 1991

Fingerprint

fitness
genotype
natural selection
evolutionary theory
reproductive success

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Byerly, H. C., & Michod, R. E. (1991). Fitness and evolutionary explanation. In Biology & Philosophy (1 ed., Vol. 6, pp. 1-22)

Fitness and evolutionary explanation. / Byerly, H. C.; Michod, Richard E.

Biology & Philosophy. Vol. 6 1. ed. 1991. p. 1-22.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Byerly, HC & Michod, RE 1991, Fitness and evolutionary explanation. in Biology & Philosophy. 1 edn, vol. 6, pp. 1-22.
Byerly HC, Michod RE. Fitness and evolutionary explanation. In Biology & Philosophy. 1 ed. Vol. 6. 1991. p. 1-22
Byerly, H. C. ; Michod, Richard E. / Fitness and evolutionary explanation. Biology & Philosophy. Vol. 6 1. ed. 1991. pp. 1-22
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