PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Contingency and Individuality: A Plurality of Evolutionary Individuality Types

Recently, philosophers have sought to determine the nature of individuals relevant to evolution by natural selection or evolutionary individuals (Godfrey-Smith 2009; Dupré and O’Malley 2009; Ereshefsky and Pedroso 2015; Pradeu 2010; Clarke 2013). The Evolutionary Contingency Thesis (ECT) is a claim about evolution that emphasizes the role of contingency or dependency relations, and chance-based factors in how evolution unfolds. (Gould 1989; Beatty 1995, 2006; Desjardin 2011; Turner 2011). In this paper I argue that if we take evolutionary contingency seriously, then we should be pluralists about the types of individuals in selection.

Author Information:

Alison McConwell    
University of Calgary


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