The nature of developmental constraints and the difference-Maker argument for externalism

Biology and Philosophy 24 (4):441-459 (2009)
One current version of the internalism/externalism debate in evolutionary theory focuses on the relative importance of developmental constraints in evolutionary explanation. The received view of developmental constraints sees them as an internalist concept that tend to be shared across related species as opposed to selective pressures that are not. Thus, to the extent that constraints can explain anything, they can better explain similarity across species, while natural selection is better able to explain their differences. I challenge both of these aspects of the received view and propose a hierarchical view of constraints.
Keywords Philosophy   Evolutionary Biology   Philosophy of Biology
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-008-9121-2
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