There is no Asymmetry of Identity Assumptions in the Debate over Selection and Individuals

Philosophy of Science 82 (1):21-31 (2015)
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A long-running dispute concerns which adaptation-related explananda natural selection can be said to explain. At issue are explananda of the form: why a given individual organism has a given adaptation rather than that same individual having another trait. It is broadly agreed that one must be ready to back up a “no” answer with an appropriate theory of trans-world identity for individuals. I argue, against the conventional wisdom, that the same is true for a “yes” answer. My conclusion recasts the landscape and opens the door to a potential resolution.

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Casey Helgeson
Pennsylvania State University

Citations of this work

Natural Selection and Contrastive Explanation.Joeri Witteveen - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (3):412-430.
Natural Selection's Explanatory Scope.Brian McLoone - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (10):e12881.

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References found in this work

Naming and Necessity: Lectures Given to the Princeton University Philosophy Colloquium.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Edited by Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel.
Naming and Necessity.Saul A. Kripke - 1980 - Philosophy 56 (217):431-433.

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