Evolvability, Dispositions, and Intrinsicality

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Abstract

In this paper I examine a dispositional property that has been receiving increased attention in biology, evolvability. First, I identify three compatible but distinct investigative approaches, distinguish two interpretations of evolvability, and treat the difference between dispositions of individuals versus populations. Second, I explore the relevance of philosophical distinctions about dispositions for evolvability, isolating the assumption that dispositions are intrinsically located. I conclude that some instances of evolvability cannot be understood as purely intrinsic to populations and suggest alternative strategies for resolving this difficulty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1015-1027
Number of pages13
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Volume70
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2003

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