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Increasingly Radical Claims about Heredity and Fitness

Eugene Earnshaw-Whyte
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 79, No. 3 (July 2012), pp. 396-412
DOI: 10.1086/666060
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/666060
Page Count: 17
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Increasingly Radical Claims about Heredity and Fitness
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Abstract

On the classical account of evolution by natural selection (ENS) found in Lewontin and many subsequent authors, ENS is conceived as involving three key ingredients: phenotypic variation, fitness differences, and heredity. Through the analysis of three problem cases involving heredity, I argue that the classical conception is substantially flawed, showing that heredity is not required for selection. I consider further problems with the classical account of ENS arising from conflations between three distinct senses of the central concept of ‘fitness’ and offer an alternative to the classical conception of ENS involving the interaction of distinct evolutionary mechanisms.

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