Standard Article

Fitness: Philosophical Problems

  1. James B Maclaurin

Published Online: 25 APR 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0003443



How to Cite

Maclaurin, J. B. 2001. Fitness: Philosophical Problems. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 APR 2001

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (13 JUN 2013)


A philosophical discussion of conceptual and theoretical issues raised by the scientific use of the term ‘fitness’ to describe a property of evolving systems.


  • fitness;
  • tautology;
  • Social Darwinism;
  • propensity