David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 38 (2):200-215 (1971)
In this paper I attempt to show that adaptational sentences (i.e. sentences containing the terms "adaptive", "adapted", etc.) in evolutionary biology are best interpreted as equivalent to sentences about Darwinian or genetical selection. Thus, the use of adaptational languages does not introduce final purposes or other nonempirical notions into biology. I also try to demonstrate that adaptational sentences and functional sentences are not equivalent in an evolutionary context so that an analysis of function does not dispense with the need for an analysis of adaptation. Finally, it is argued that, although some adaptational sentences might be construed as teleological explanations, given an empirical content, they do not serve as explanations. Rather, they express the outcome of selection, regarded in one way, and regarded in another, they express data for which a theory of evolution must account
|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
Robert N. Brandon (1981). Biological Teleology: Questions and Explanations. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 12 (2):91-105.
Robert N. Brandon (1978). Adaptation and Evolutionary Theory. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 9 (3):181-206.
Margaret Campbell (1983). Adaptation and Fitness. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 14 (1):59-65.
Similar books and articles
Leigh Van Valen (2009). How Ubiquitous is Adaptation? A Critique of the Epiphenomenist Program. Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):267-280.
J. T. Wiebes (1982). L'adaptation Evolutive. Acta Biotheoretica 31 (4):239-243.
Kostas Kampourakis (2013). Teaching About Adaptation: Why Evolutionary History Matters. [REVIEW] Science and Education 22 (2):173-188.
Sahotra Sarkar (2005). Maynard Smith, Optimization, and Evolution. Biology and Philosophy 20 (5):951-966.
David Sloan Wilson (1990). Species of Thought: A Comment on Evolutionary Epistemology. Biology and Philosophy 5 (1):37-62.
Timothy Shanahan (2004). The Evolution of Darwinism: Selection, Adaptation, and Progress in Evolutionary Biology. Cambridge University Press.
William A. Rottschaefer (1997). Adaptational Functional Ascriptions in Evolutionary Biology: A Critique of Schaffner's Views. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):698-713.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads4 ( #289,172 of 1,410,276 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #177,872 of 1,410,276 )
How can I increase my downloads?