Philosophy of Science 82 (1):21-31 (2015)

Casey Helgeson
Pennsylvania State University
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.
Keywords natural selection  individual identity  explanation
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DOI 10.1086/679114
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Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.

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