David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Acta Biotheoretica 40 (4) (1992)
One of the major criticisms of optimal foraging theory (OFT) is that it is not testable. In discussions of this criticism opposing parties have confused methodological concepts and used meaningless biological concepts. In this paper we discuss such misunderstandings and show that OFr has an empirically testable, and even well-confirmed, general core theory. One of our main conclusions is that specific model testing should not be aimed at proving optimality, but rather at identifying the context in which certain types of behaviour are optimal. To do this, it is necessary to be aware of the assumptions made in testing a model. The assumptions that are explicitly stated in the literature up to now do not completely cover the actual assumptions made in testing OFT models in practice. We present a more comprehensive set of assumptions. Although all the assumptions play a role in testing models, they are not of equal status. Crucial assumptions concern constraints and the relation between fitness and currency. Therefore, it is essential to make such assumptions testable in practice. We show that a more explicit relationship between OFT modelling and evolutionary theory can help with this. Specifically, phylogeny reconstruction and population dynamic modelling can and should be used to formulate assumptions concerning constraints and currencies.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Wim J. Steen (1983). Methodological Problems in Evolutionary Biology II. Appraisal of Arguments Against Adaptationism. Acta Biotheoretica 32 (3).
Alasdair I. Houston & John M. McNamara (2005). John Maynard Smith and the Importance of Consistency in Evolutionary Game Theory. Biology and Philosophy 20 (5):933-950.
Satoshi Kanazawa (1998). In Defense of Unrealistic Assumptions. Sociological Theory 16 (2):193-204.
Jonathan Bendor & Piotr Swistak (1998). Evolutionary Equilibria: Characterization Theorems and Their Implications. [REVIEW] Theory and Decision 45 (2):99-159.
Rob Hengeveld (2002). Methodology Going Astray in Population Biology. Acta Biotheoretica 50 (2):77-93.
Massimo Pigliucci & Carl D. Schlichting (1997). On the Limits of Quantitative Genetics for the Study of Phenotypic Evolution. Acta Biotheoretica 45 (2):143-160.
Wim J. Steen (1986). Methodological Problems in Evolutionary Biology VI. The Force of Evolutionary Epistemology. Acta Biotheoretica 35 (3).
Oscar Vilarroya (2002). ``Two'' Many Optimalities. Biology and Philosophy 17 (2):251-270.
Wim J. Steen (1983). Methodological Problems in Evolutionary Biology I. Testability and Tautologies. Acta Biotheoretica 32 (3).
Wim J. van der Steen (1998). Methodological Problems in Evolutionary Biology. XI. Optimal Foraging Theory Revisited. Acta Biotheoretica 46 (4):321-336.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads8 ( #381,178 of 1,792,848 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #345,624 of 1,792,848 )
How can I increase my downloads?