The functions of fossils: Inference and explanation in functional morphology

This paper offers an account of the relationship between inference and explanation in functional morphology which combines Robert Brandon's theory of adaptation explanation with standard accounts of inference to the best explanation. Inferences of function from structure, it is argued, are inferences to the best adaptation explanation. There are, however, three different approaches to the problem of determining which adaptation explanation is the best. The theory of inference to the best adaptation explanation is then applied to a case study from the history of functional morphology: the case of the crested duckbilled dinosaurs.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/S1369-8486(99)00043-6
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,316
External links
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
Robert C. Cummins (1975). Functional Analysis. Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Derek D. Turner (2005). Misleading Observable Analogues in Paleontology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 36 (1):175-183.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

24 ( #196,884 of 1,926,170 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

12 ( #73,934 of 1,926,170 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.