Fitness: Static or dynamic?


The most consistent definition of fitness makes it a static property of organisms. However, this is not how fitness is used in many evolutionary models. In those models, fitness is permitted to vary with an organism’s circumstances. According to this second conception, fitness is dynamic. There is consequently tension between these two conceptions of fitness. One recently proposed solution suggests resorting to conditional properties. We argue, however, that this solution is unsatisfactory. Using a very simple model, we show that it can lead to incompatible fitness values and indecision about whether selection actually occurs.

European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 11(4), 112.
Pierrick Bourrat
Pierrick Bourrat
Senior Lecturer & DECRA Fellow

My research interests include the various concepts deployed in evolutionary theory, causation, and the interplay between biological and cultural evolution.