Rethinking the Propensity Interpretation: A Peek Inside Pandora’s Box1

  • John Beatty
  • Susan Finsen
Part of the Nijhoff International Philosophy Series book series (NIPS, volume 32)


Over the past ten years, the propensity interpretation of fitness has attracted a number of proponents2 and a few, persistent detractors.3 Here, two previous supporters turn critics, to acknowledge and reframe some old problems, and to introduce some additional difficulties. We are not sure whether a radically revised interpretation of fitness is necessary. But it does seem to us that certain gross oversimplifications of the propensity interpretation deserve more serious attention.


Evolutionary Success Fitness Distribution Frequency Interpretation Causal Component Propensity Interpretation 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Beatty
    • 1
  • Susan Finsen
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and Behavioral BiologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyCalifornia State University at San BernadinoSan BernardinoUSA

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