Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorWong, Tin Yu Williamen
dc.date.accessioned2020-05-11T23:31:52Z
dc.date.available2020-05-11T23:31:52Z
dc.date.issued2020-08-01en
dc.identifier.issn0169-3867
dc.identifier.urihttps://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/305259
dc.description.abstractContingency-theorists have gestured to a series of phenomena such as random mutations or rare Armageddon-like events as that which accounts for evolutionary contingency. These phenomena constitute a class, which may be aptly called the ‘sources of contingency’. In this paper, I offer a probabilistic conception of what it is to be a source of contingency and then examine two major candidates: chance variation and genetic drift, both of which have historically been taken to be ‘chancy’ in a number of different senses. However, contra the gesturing of contingency-theorists, chance variation and genetic drift are not always strong sources of contingency, as they can be non-chancy (and hence, directional) in at least one sense that opposes evolutionary contingency. The probabilistic conception offered herein allows for sources of contingency to appropriately vary in strength. To this end, I import Shannon’s information entropy as a statistical measure for systematically assessing the strength of a source of contingency, which is part and parcel of identifying sources of contingency. In brief, the higher the entropy, the greater the strength. This is also empirically significant because molecular, mutational, and replicative studies often contain sufficient frequency or probability data to allow for entropies to be calculated. In this way, contingency-theorists can evaluate the strength of a source of contingency in real-world cases. Moreover, the probabilistic conception also makes conceptual room for the converse of sources of contingency: ‘sources of directionality’, which ought to be recognised, as they can interact with genuine sources of contingency in undermining evolutionary contingency.
dc.publisherSpringer Nature
dc.rightsAll rights reserved
dc.titleSources of evolutionary contingency: chance variation and genetic driften
dc.typeArticle
prism.issueIdentifier4en
prism.publicationDate2020en
prism.publicationNameBiology and Philosophyen
prism.volume35en
dc.identifier.doi10.17863/CAM.52346
rioxxterms.versionofrecord10.1007/s10539-020-09752-4en
rioxxterms.versionAM
rioxxterms.licenseref.urihttp://www.rioxx.net/licenses/all-rights-reserveden
rioxxterms.licenseref.startdate2020-08-01en
dc.contributor.orcidWong, Tin Yu William [0000-0002-2750-7990]
dc.identifier.eissn1572-8404
rioxxterms.typeJournal Article/Reviewen
cam.orpheus.successMon Jun 29 08:56:00 BST 2020 - Embargo updated*
cam.orpheus.counter7*
rioxxterms.freetoread.startdate2021-08-01


Files in this item

Thumbnail

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record