Seven types of adaptationism

Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):161-182 (2009)
Godfrey-Smith ( 2001 ) has distinguished three types of adaptationism. This article builds on his analysis, and revises it in places, by distinguishing seven varieties of adaptationism. This taxonomy allows us to clarify what is at stake in debates over adaptationism, and it also helps to cement the importance of Gould and Lewontin’s ‘Spandrels’ essay. Some adaptationists have suggested that their essay does not offer any coherent alternative to the adaptationist programme: it consists only in an exhortation to test adaptationist hypotheses more thoroughly than was usual in the 1970s. Here it is argued that the ‘Spandrels’ paper points towards a genuinely non-adaptationist methodology implicit in much evolutionary developmental biology. This conclusion helps to expose the links between older debates over adaptationism and more recent questions about the property of evolvability.
Keywords Philosophy   Evolutionary Biology   Philosophy of Biology
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-008-9145-7
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References found in this work BETA
Daniel C. Dennett (1996). Darwin's Dangerous Idea. Behavior and Philosophy 24 (2):169-174.

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Russell Powell (2012). Convergent Evolution and the Limits of Natural Selection. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):355-373.

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