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What is Evolutionary Fitness For?

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posted on 14.01.2020, 11:24 authored by Charles PenceCharles Pence
I’ll argue that the conventional distinction between predictive and vernacular or causal fitness lies somewhere between misleading and false, and the landscape of evolutionary fitness is much more confusing than this dichotomy would suggest. While some advances have been made in understanding the causal role of fitness, resolving counterexamples to it leads us to a property that behaves in unexpected ways, and may well be metaphysically problematic. And on the other side, thanks to its own set of difficulties, it’s not clear just what predictive fitness was ever supposed to predict in the first place.