Francesca Merlin
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
n his famous book Le hasard et la ne ́cessite ́ (1970), Monod claims that natural evolution is based on the interplay between chance and necessity bringing about adaptive evolutionary change. This article addresses a set of related questions about Monod’s conception of chance: what does he mean when he uses the term ‘‘chance’’? Does he invoke one or many different concepts of chance? What are the implications of his conception about the issue of the deterministic or indeterministic nature of the biological world? Is Monod’s view of what chance is relevant in contemporary biology? This paper, structured by these four questions, aims at providing a synthetic study of the way Monod conceptualizes chance, particularly highlighting the metaphysical and epistemological implications of his conception and its value in biology today.
Keywords Jacques Monod  Chance  Determinism  Indeterminism  Variation  Necessity  Evolution
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