The survival of the fittest and the reign of the most robust: In biology and elsewhere [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Minds and Machines 19 (3):361-389 (2009)
Darwin’s insight that species are mutable, and descent, and origin by means of natural selection is one of the most widely acknowledged strategies for the origin of species and their survival in nature. In his famous contribution, however, Darwin also writes that he is convinced that “... Natural Selection has been the main but not exclusive means of modification ” (Darwin in The origin of species. Oxford Univeristy Press, Oxford, p. 7, 1996 ). This research suggests robustness as another fundamental strategy for survival in nature. The paper does not contradict the popular view, which usually sees robustness as a feature making systems fault-tolerant, thereby focusing on the identification of strategies and techniques for making systems robust (i.e., how to achieve robustness). The paper rather extends this view with an interpretation resting on the question—WHY is robustness omnipresent in the world around us? From this point of view, robustness is interpreted as a fundamental mechanism that is in place because of another fundamental feature in nature—the design and use of sub-optimal systems. The paper argues that, in a sense, nature under-specifies systems but compensates for this by providing systems with various degrees of robustness. We believe that this interpretation may lead to fundamentally new design approaches and insights in several fields.
|Keywords||Artificial intelligence Biology Computing Robustness|
|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
John R. Searle (1980). Minds, Brains and Programs. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.
Stevan Harnad (1990). The Symbol Grounding Problem. Philosophical Explorations 42:335-346.
Paul W. Burgess, Iroise Dumontheil & Sam J. Gilbert (2007). The Gateway Hypothesis of Rostral Prefrontal Cortex Function. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 11 (7):290-298.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Jim Woodward (2006). Some Varieties of Robustness. Journal of Economic Methodology 13 (2):219-240.
Tarja Knuuttila & Andrea Loettgers (2011). Causal Isolation Robustness Analysis: The Combinatorial Strategy of Circadian Clock Research. Biology and Philosophy 26 (5):773-791.
Jay Odenbaugh & Anna Alexandrova (2011). Buyer Beware: Robustness Analyses in Economics and Biology. Biology and Philosophy 26 (5):757-771.
Charles Darwin (1963). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. New York, Heritage Press.
Charles Darwin (1975). Charles Darwin's Natural Selection: Being the Second Part of His Big Species Book Written From 1856 to 1858. Cambridge University Press.
Bouchard Frédéric (2011). Darwinism Without Populations: A More Inclusive Understanding of the “Survival of the Fittest”. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (1):106-114.
David B. Resnik (1988). Survival of the Fittest: Law of Evolution or Law of Probability? [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 3 (3):349-362.
C. Kenneth Waters (1986). Natural Selection Without Survival of the Fittest. Biology and Philosophy 1 (2):207-225.
P. J. den Boer (1999). Natural Selection or the Non-Survival of the Non-Fit. Acta Biotheoretica 47 (2):83-97.
Added to index2009-09-21
Total downloads13 ( #189,873 of 1,725,579 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #268,753 of 1,725,579 )
How can I increase my downloads?