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Determinism, Realism, and Probability in Evolutionary Theory
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 68, No. 3, Supplement: Proceedings of the 2000 Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association. Part I: Contributed Papers (Sep., 2001), pp. S213-S224
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3080947
Page Count: 12
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Evolutionary theories, Determinism, Probabilities, Hidden variables, Philosophical realism, Indeterminism, Statistics, Philosophy of science, Biological evolution, Ecological competition
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Recent discussion of the statistical character of evolutionary theory has centered around two positions: (1) Determinism combined with the claim that the statistical character is eliminable, a subjective interpretation of probability, and instrumentalism; (2) Indeterminism combined with the claim that the statistical character is ineliminable, a propensity interpretation of probability, and realism. I point out some internal problems in these positions and show that the relationship between determinism, eliminability, realism, and the interpretation of probability is more complex than previously assumed in this debate. Furthermore, I take some initial steps towards a more adequate account of the statistical character of evolutionary theory.
Philosophy of Science © 2001 The University of Chicago Press