David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (1):135-146 (2008)
In an influential paper, Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Lewontin contrasted selection-driven adaptation with phylogenetic, architectural, and developmental constraints as distinct causes of phenotypic evolution. In subsequent publications Gould has elaborated this distinction into one between a narrow “Darwinian Fundamentalist” emphasis on “external functionalist” processes, and a more inclusive “pluralist” emphasis on “internal structuralist” principles. Although theoretical integration of functionalist and structuralist explanations is the ultimate aim, natural selection and internal constraints are treated as distinct causes of evolutionary change. This distinction is now routinely taken for granted in the literature in evolutionary biology. I argue that this distinction is problematic because the effects attributed to non-selective constraints are more parsimoniously explained as the ordinary effects of selection itself. Although it may still be a useful shorthand to speak of phylogenetic, architectural, and developmental constraints on phenotypic evolution, it is important to understand that such “constraints” do not constitute an alternative set of causes of evolutionary change. The result of this analysis is a clearer understanding of the relationship between adaptation, selection and constraints as explanatory concepts in evolutionary theory
|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
S. J. Gould & R. C. Lewontin (1994). The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme. In E. Sober (ed.), Conceptual Issues in Evolutionary Biology. The MIT Press. Bradford Books 73-90.
Charles Darwin (1883/1998). The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication. Johns Hopkins University Press.
Branden Fitelson & Elliott Sober (1998). Plantinga's Probability Arguments Against Evolutionary Naturalism. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 79 (2):115–129.
Todd A. Grantham (2004). Constraints and Spandrels in Gould's Structure of Evolutionary Theory. Biology and Philosophy 19 (1):29-43.
Citations of this work BETA
Trevor Pearce (2011). Evolution and Constraints on Variation: Variant Specification and Range of Assessment. Philosophy of Science 78 (5):739-751.
Timothy Shanahan (2011). Phylogenetic Inertia and Darwin's Higher Law. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (1):60-68.
Jean-Sébastien Bolduc (2012). Behavioural Ecology's Ethological Roots. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (3):674-683.
Similar books and articles
Timothy Shanahan (1990). Evolution, Phenotypic Selection, and the Units of Selection. Philosophy of Science 57 (2):210-225.
Ronald Munson (1971). Biological Adaptation. Philosophy of Science 38 (2):200-215.
Roger Sansom (2009). The Nature of Developmental Constraints and the Difference-Maker Argument for Externalism. Biology and Philosophy 24 (4):441-459.
Denis M. Walsh (2003). Fit and Diversity: Explaining Adaptive Evolution. Philosophy of Science 70 (2):280-301.
Richard M. Burian & Robert C. Richardson (1990). Form and Order in Evolutionary Biology: Stuart Kauffman's Transformation of Theoretical Biology. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:267 - 287.
Elliott Sober (1984/1993). The Nature of Selection: Evolutionary Theory in Philosophical Focus. University of Chicago Press.
Kostas Kampourakis (2013). Teaching About Adaptation: Why Evolutionary History Matters. [REVIEW] Science and Education 22 (2):173-188.
Jerry A. Fodor (2010). What Darwin Got Wrong. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
J. T. Wiebes (1982). L'adaptation Evolutive. Acta Biotheoretica 31 (4):239-243.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads19 ( #147,771 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?