Biology and Philosophy

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 479–504

The Evolutionary Structure of Scientific Theories

  • John S. Wilkins

DOI: 10.1023/A:1006507411225

Cite this article as:
Wilkins, J.S. Biology & Philosophy (1998) 13: 479. doi:10.1023/A:1006507411225


David Hull's (1988c) model of science as a selection process suffers from a two-fold inability: (a) to ascertain when a lineage of theories has been established; i.e., when theories are descendants of older theories or are novelties, and what counts as a distinct lineage; and (b) to specify what the scientific analogue is of genotype and phenotype. This paper seeks to clarify these issues and to propose an abstract model of theories analogous to particulate genetic structure, in order to reconstruct relationships of descent and identity.

Dawkins Hull meme gene species theory selection semantic 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • John S. Wilkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Mt MarthaAustralia E-mail

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