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1 — 50 / 63
  1. added 2018-02-09
    Design Under Randomness: How Variation Affects the Engineering of Biological Systems.Tero Ijäs - 2018 - Biological Theory 13 (3):153-163.
    Synthetic biology offers a powerful method to design and construct biological devices for human purposes. Two prominent design methodologies are currently used. Rational design adapts the design methodology of traditional engineering sciences, such as mechanical engineering. Directed evolution, in contrast, models its design principles after natural evolution, as it attempts to design and improve systems by guiding them to evolve in a certain direction. Previous work has argued that the primary difference between these two is the way they treat variation: (...)
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  2. added 2018-02-02
    Dos usos de los modelos de optimalidad en las explicaciones por selección natural.Santiago Ginnobili & Ariel Roffé - 2017 - Metatheoria 8 (1):43-55.
    Resumen -/- El objetivo de este trabajo consiste en analizar las relaciones entre los modelos de optimalidad y la selección natural. Defenderemos que esas relaciones pueden dividirse en dos tipos, en tanto hay dos tipos de explicaciones seleccionistas, que llamaremos “históricas” y “ahistóricas”. Las explicaciones históricas revelan como una población dada adquiere un rasgo que es adaptativo en ese ambiente e involucran muchas generaciones, variación, etc. Las explicaciones ahistóricas, explican por qué, en determinado momento, ciertos tipos de organismos tienen un (...)
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  3. added 2017-08-31
    Fitness Maximization.Jonathan Birch - 2018 - In Richard Joyce (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy. London: Routledge. pp. 49-63.
    Is there any way to reconcile the adaptationist’s image of natural selection as an engine of optimality with the more complex image of its dynamics we get from population genetics? This has long been an important strand in the controversy surrounding adaptationism, yet debate has been hampered by a tendency to conflate various different ways of thinking about maximization. Here I distinguish four varieties of maximization principle. I then discuss the logical relations between these varieties, arguing that, although they may (...)
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  4. added 2017-01-27
    Yanomamö Dreams and Starling Prey Loads: The Logic of Optimality.Alex Kacelnik & John R. Krebs - forthcoming - Human Nature: A Critical Reader.
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  5. added 2017-01-26
    On Value Judgement and the Ethical Nature of Economic Optimality.Andrea Zhok - 2010 - In Marcello D'Agostino, Federico Laudisa, Giulio Giorello, Telmo Pievani & Corrado Sinigaglia (eds.), New Essays in Logic and Philosophy of Science. College Publications. pp. 433--446.
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  6. added 2017-01-26
    Emotional Optimality and Moral Force.Kristjan Kristjansson - 2009 - In Mikko Salmela & Verena Mayer (eds.), Emotions, Ethics, and Authenticity. John Benjamins. pp. 5--215.
  7. added 2017-01-26
    Phonological Change in Optimality Theory.Ricardo Bermúdez-Otero - 2006 - In Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. pp. 9--497.
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  8. added 2017-01-26
    Scrambling in Dutch: Optionality and Optimality.Helen De Hoop - 2003 - In Simin Karimi (ed.), Word Order and Scrambling. Blackwell.
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  9. added 2017-01-26
    Optimality in Biology: Pangloss or Leibiniz? Daisie Radner And.Michael Radner - 1999 - The Monist 82 (1).
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  10. added 2017-01-26
    Pareto Optimality in Policy Espousal.Leland B. Yeager - 1978 - Journal of Libertarian Studies 2 (3):199-216.
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  11. added 2017-01-24
    Optimality of Perceptual Decision Criteria.Z. Joseph Ulehla - 1966 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 71 (4):564.
  12. added 2017-01-23
    Optimality in Biology.Daisie Radner & Michael Radner - 1998 - The Monist 81 (4):669-686.
  13. added 2017-01-14
    Optimal Control of a Delayed SIRS Epidemic Model with Vaccination and Treatment.Khalid Hattaf, Abdelhadi Abta & Hassan Laarabi - 2015 - Acta Biotheoretica 63 (2):87-97.
    This article deals with optimal control applied to vaccination and treatment strategies for an SIRS epidemic model with logistic growth and delay. The delay is incorporated into the model in order to modeled the latent period or incubation period. The existence for the optimal control pair is also proved. Pontryagin’s maximum principle with delay is used to characterize these optimal controls. The optimality system is derived and then solved numerically using an algorithm based on the forward and backward difference approximation.
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  14. added 2016-03-09
    The Mismeasure of Machine: Synthetic Biology and the Trouble with Engineering Metaphors.Maarten Boudry & Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):660-668.
    The scientific study of living organisms is permeated by machine and design metaphors. Genes are thought of as the ‘‘blueprint’’ of an organism, organisms are ‘‘reverse engineered’’ to discover their functionality, and living cells are compared to biochemical factories, complete with assembly lines, transport systems, messenger circuits, etc. Although the notion of design is indispensable to think about adaptations, and engineering analogies have considerable heuristic value (e.g., optimality assumptions), we argue they are limited in several important respects. In particular, the (...)
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  15. added 2016-03-04
    Evolutionary Psychology: A View From Evolutionary Biology.Elisabeth A. Lloyd & Marcus Feldman - 2002 - Psychological Inquiry 13 (2).
    Given the recent explosion of interest in applications of evolutionary biology to understanding human psychology, we think it timely to assure better understanding of modern evolutionary theory among the psychologists who might be using it. We find it necessary to do so because of the very reducd version of evolutionary theorizing that has been incorporated into much of evolutionary psychology so far. Our aim here is to clarify why the use of a reduced version of evolutionary genetics will lead to (...)
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  16. added 2016-03-01
    Explanatory Pluralism: An Unrewarding Prediction Error for Free Energy Theorists.Matteo Colombo & Cory Wright - 2017 - Brain and Cognition 112:3–12.
    Courtesy of its free energy formulation, the hierarchical predictive processing theory of the brain (PTB) is often claimed to be a grand unifying theory. To test this claim, we examine a central case: activity of mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic (DA) systems. After reviewing the three most prominent hypotheses of DA activity—the anhedonia, incentive salience, and reward prediction error hypotheses—we conclude that the evidence currently vindicates explanatory pluralism. This vindication implies that the grand unifying claims of advocates of PTB are unwarranted. More generally, (...)
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  17. added 2015-09-02
    Pre-Theoretical Assumptions in Evolutionary Explanations of Female Sexuality.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 1993 - Philosophical Studies 69 (2-3):139-153.
    My contribution to this Symposium focuses on the links between sexuality and reproduction from the evolutionary point of view.' The relation between women's sexuality and reproduction is particularly importantb ecause of a vital intersectionb etweenp olitics and biology feminists have noticed, for more than a century, that women's identity is often defined in terms of her reproductive capacity. More recently, in the second wave of the feminist movement in the United States, debates about women'si dentityh ave explicitlyi ncludeds exuality;m uch (...)
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  18. added 2015-04-22
    Natural Selection and the Maximization of Fitness.Jonathan Birch - 2016 - Biological Reviews 91 (3):712-727.
    The notion that natural selection is a process of fitness maximization gets a bad press in population genetics, yet in other areas of biology the view that organisms behave as if attempting to maximize their fitness remains widespread. Here I critically appraise the prospects for reconciliation. I first distinguish four varieties of fitness maximization. I then examine two recent developments that may appear to vindicate at least one of these varieties. The first is the ‘new’ interpretation of Fisher's fundamental theorem (...)
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  19. added 2014-04-14
    Female Sexual Arousal: Genital Anatomy and Orgasm in Intercourse.Kim Wallen & Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 2011 - Hormones and Behavior 59:780-792.
    In men and women sexual arousal culminates in orgasm, with female orgasm solely from sexual intercourse often regarded as a unique feature of human sexuality. However, orgasm from sexual intercourse occurs more reliably in men than in women, likely reflecting the different types of physical stimulation men and women require for orgasm. In men, orgasms are under strong selective pressure as orgasms are coupled with ejaculation and thus contribute to male reproductive success. By contrast, women's orgasms in intercourse are highly (...)
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  20. added 2014-04-08
    Response to Puts and Dawood's 'The Evolution of Female Orgasm: Adaptation or Byproduct?'--Been There.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 2006 - Twin Studies and Human Genetics 9 (4).
  21. added 2014-04-02
    Has Grafen Formalized Darwin?Jonathan Birch - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (2):175-180.
    One key aim of Grafen’s Formal Darwinism project is to formalize ‘modern biology’s understanding and updating of Darwin’s central argument’. In this commentary, I consider whether Grafen has succeeded in this aim.
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  22. added 2014-04-02
    Samir Okasha and Ken Binmore (Eds) Evolution and Rationality: Decisions, Cooperation, and Strategic Behaviour. [REVIEW]Jonathan Birch - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (3):669-673.
    Evolution and Rationality marks the end of a three-year project, ‘Evolution, Cooperation, and Rationality’, directed at the University of Bristol by the book’s editors, Samir Okasha and Ken Binmore. The collection draws together the editors’ pick of the papers delivered at the conferences the project hosted, and covers a wide range of topics at the intersection of evolutionary theory and the social sciences. It is a splendid anthology: timely, interdisciplinary, thematically cohesive, and full of substantive and interesting disagreements between the (...)
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  23. added 2014-03-30
    The Origin of Speech and its Implication for the Optimal Size of Human Groups.A. R. Maryanski - 1997 - Critical Review 11 (2):233-249.
    Abstract In Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language, Robin Dunbar argues that speech developed from primate vocalizations as a replacement for grooming. Dunbar convincingly shows that language is just a highly developed form of primate communication. But Dunbar's thesis about the relationship between speech and optimal group size is problematic: his focus on strong ties leads him to overlook the integrative force of weak?tie networks.
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  24. added 2014-03-24
    Rationality, Biology and Optimality.Carolyn Price - 2002 - Biology and Philosophy 17 (5):613-634.
    A historical theory of rational norms claims that, if we are supposed to think rationally, this is because it is biologically normal for us to do so. The historical theorist is committed to the view that we are supposed to think rationally only if, in the past, adult humans sometimes thought rationally. I consider whether there is any plausible model of rational norms that can be adopted by the historical theorist that is compatible with the claim that adult human beings (...)
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  25. added 2014-03-24
    ``Two'' Many Optimalities.Oscar Vilarroya - 2002 - Biology and Philosophy 17 (2):251-270.
    In evolutionary biology, a trait is said to be optimal if it maximizes the fitness of the organism, that is, if the trait allows the organism to survive and reproduce better than any other competing trait would. In engineering, a design is said to be optimal if it complies with its functional requirements as well as possible. Cognitive science is both a biological and engineering discipline and hence it uses both notions of optimality. Unfortunately, the lack of a clear methodological (...)
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  26. added 2014-03-23
    Adaptationism, Adaptation, and Optimality.Robert C. Richardson - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (5):695-713.
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  27. added 2014-03-20
    John Maynard Smith and the Natural Philosophy of␣Adaptation.Alirio Rosales - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (5):1027-1040.
    One of the most remarkable aspects of John Maynard Smith’s work was the fact that he devoted time both to doing science and to reflecting philosophically upon its methods and concepts. In this paper I offer a philosophical analysis of Maynard Smith’s approach to modelling phenotypic evolution in relation to three main themes. The first concerns the type of scientific understanding that ESS and optimality models give us. The second concerns the causal–historical aspect of stability analyses of adaptation. The third (...)
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  28. added 2014-03-20
    Trade-Offs, the Allocation of Reproductive Effort, and the Evolutionary Psychology of Human Mating.Steven W. Gangestad & Jeffry A. Simpson - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (4):624-636.
    This response reinforces several major themes in our target article: (a) the importance of sex-specific, within-sex variation in mating tactics; (b) the relevance of optimality thinking to understanding that variation; (c) the significance of special design for reconstructing evolutionary history; (d) the replicated findings that women's mating preferences vary across their menstrual cycle in ways revealing special design; and (e) the importance of applying market phenomena to understand the complex dynamics of mating. We also elaborate on three points: (1) Men (...)
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  29. added 2014-03-11
    On Our Best Behavior: Optimality Models in Human Behavioral Ecology.Catherine Driscoll - 2009 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 40 (2):133-141.
    This paper discusses problems associated with the use of optimality models in human behavioral ecology. Optimality models are used in both human and non-human animal behavioral ecology to test hypotheses about the conditions generating and maintaining behavioral strategies in populations via natural selection. The way optimality models are currently used in behavioral ecology faces significant problems, which are exacerbated by employing the so-called ‘phenotypic gambit’: that is, the bet that the psychological and inheritance mechanisms responsible for behavioral strategies will be (...)
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  30. added 2014-03-09
    Optimality Modeling in a Suboptimal World.Angela Potochnik - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):183-197.
    The fate of optimality modeling is typically linked to that of adaptationism: the two are thought to stand or fall together (Gould and Lewontin, Proc Relig Soc Lond 205:581–598, 1979; Orzack and Sober, Am Nat 143(3):361–380, 1994). I argue here that this is mistaken. The debate over adaptationism has tended to focus on one particular use of optimality models, which I refer to here as their strong use. The strong use of an optimality model involves the claim that selection is (...)
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  31. added 2014-03-04
    Interdisciplinary Modeling: A Case Study of Evolutionary Economics.Collin Rice & Joshua Smart - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (5):655-675.
    Biologists and economists use models to study complex systems. This similarity between these disciplines has led to an interesting development: the borrowing of various components of model-based theorizing between the two domains. A major recent example of this strategy is economists’ utilization of the resources of evolutionary biology in order to construct models of economic systems. This general strategy has come to be called evolutionary economics and has been a source of much debate among economists. Although philosophers have developed literatures (...)
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  32. added 2014-02-25
    Optimisation and Mathematical Explanation: Doing the Lévy Walk.Sam Baron - 2014 - Synthese 191 (3).
    The indispensability argument seeks to establish the existence of mathematical objects. The success of the indispensability argument turns on finding cases of genuine extra- mathematical explanation. In this paper, I identify a new case of extra- mathematical explanation, involving the search patterns of fully-aquatic marine predators. I go on to use this case to predict the prevalence of extra- mathematical explanation in science.
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  33. added 2013-11-18
    A Bifurcation Theory for the Instabilities of Optimization and Design.John M. T. Thompson & Giles W. Hunt - 1977 - Synthese 36 (3):315 - 351.
    The world I grew up in believed that change and development in life are part of a continuous process of cause and effect, minutely and patiently sustained throughout the millenniums. With the exception of the initial act of creation ..., the evolution of life on earth was considered to be a slow, steady and ultimately demonstrable process. No sooner did I begin to read history, however, than I began to have my doubts. Human society and living beings, it seemed to (...)
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  34. added 2013-11-03
    Optimality and Teleology in Aristotle's Natural Science.Devin Henry - manuscript
    In this paper I examine the role of optimality reasoning in Aristotle’s natural science. By “optimality reasoning” I mean reasoning that appeals to some conception of “what is best” in order to explain why things are the way they are. We are first introduced to this pattern of reasoning in the famous passage at Phaedo 97b8-98a2, where (Plato’s) Socrates invokes “what is best” as a cause (aitia) of things in nature. This passage can be seen as the intellectual ancestor of (...)
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  35. added 2013-11-03
    On the Optimal Size of Marine Reserves.M. Bensenane, A. Moussaoui & P. Auger - 2013 - Acta Biotheoretica 61 (1):109-118.
    The excessive and unsustainable exploitation of our marine resources has led to the promotion of marine reserves as a fisheries management tool. Marine reserves, areas in which fishing is restricted or prohibited, can offer opportunities for the recovery of exploited stock and fishery enhancement. This study examines the impact of the creation of marine protected areas, from both economic and biological perspectives. The consequences of reserve establishment on the long-run equilibrium fish biomass and fishery catch levels are evaluated. We include (...)
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  36. added 2013-11-03
    The Mismeasure of Machine: Synthetic Biology and the Trouble with Engineering Metaphors.Maarten Boudry & Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (4):660-668.
    The scientific study of living organisms is permeated by machine and design metaphors. Genes are thought of as the ‘‘blueprint’’ of an organism, organisms are ‘‘reverse engineered’’ to discover their func- tionality, and living cells are compared to biochemical factories, complete with assembly lines, transport systems, messenger circuits, etc. Although the notion of design is indispensable to think about adapta- tions, and engineering analogies have considerable heuristic value (e.g., optimality assumptions), we argue they are limited in several important respects. In (...)
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  37. added 2013-11-03
    Optimality Modelling in the Real World.Jean-Sébastien Bolduc & Frank Cézilly - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (6):851-869.
    In a recent paper, Potochnik (Biol Philos 24(2):183–197, 2009) analyses some uses of optimality modelling in light of the anti-adaptationism criticism. She distinguishes two broad classes of such uses (weak and strong) on the basis of assumptions held by biologists about the role and the importance of natural selection. This is an interesting proposal that could help in the epistemological characterisation of some biological practices. However, Potochnik’s distinction also rests on the assumption that all optimality modelling represent the selection dynamic (...)
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  38. added 2013-11-03
    Optimality Explanations: A Plea for an Alternative Approach.Collin Rice - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):685-703.
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  39. added 2013-11-03
    Group Adaptation, Formal Darwinism and Contextual Analysis.Samir Okasha & Cedric Paternotte - 2012 - Journal of Evolutionary Biology 25 (6):1127–1139.
    We consider the question: under what circumstances can the concept of adaptation be applied to groups, rather than individuals? Gardner and Grafen (2009, J. Evol. Biol.22: 659–671) develop a novel approach to this question, building on Grafen's ‘formal Darwinism’ project, which defines adaptation in terms of links between evolutionary dynamics and optimization. They conclude that only clonal groups, and to a lesser extent groups in which reproductive competition is repressed, can be considered as adaptive units. We re-examine the conditions under (...)
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  40. added 2013-11-03
    Optimal Exploitation for a Commercial Fishing Model.Chakib Jerry & Nadia Raissi - 2012 - Acta Biotheoretica 60 (1-2):209-223.
    A two non-linear dynamic models, first one in two state variables and one control and the second one with three state variables and one control, are presented for the purpose of finding the optimal combination of exploitation, capital investment and price variation in the commercial fishing industry. This optimal combination is determined in terms of management policies. Exploitation, capital and price variation are controlled through the utilization rate of available capital. A novel feature in this model is that the variation (...)
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  41. added 2013-11-03
    The Sunk-Cost Effect as an Optimal Rate-Maximizing Behavior.Theodore Pavlic & Kevin Passino - 2011 - Acta Biotheoretica 59 (1):53-66.
    Optimal foraging theory has been criticized for underestimating patch exploitation time. However, proper modeling of costs not only answers these criticisms, but it also explains apparently irrational behaviors like the sunk-cost effect. When a forager is sure to experience high initial costs repeatedly, the forager should devote more time to exploitation than searching in order to minimize the accumulation of said costs. Thus, increased recognition or reconnaissance costs lead to increased exploitation times in order to reduce the frequency of future (...)
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  42. added 2013-11-03
    What is the Gene Trying to Do?W. J. Ewens - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):155-176.
    The aim of this paper is to offer a new biological interpretation of Fisher’s ‘Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection’ and from this to consider optimality properties of gene frequency changes. These matters are of continuing interest to biologists and philosophers alike. In particular, the extent to which biological evolution can be calculated from the ‘gene’s-eye’ point of view is also discussed. In this sense, the paper bears indirectly on the concepts of the unit of selection and of the ‘selfish gene’. (...)
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  43. added 2013-11-03
    Optimal Choice in the Face of Risk: Decision Theory Meets Evolution.Samir Okasha - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (1):83-104.
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  44. added 2013-11-03
    Optimal Control and Sensitivity Analysis of an Influenza Model with Treatment and Vaccination.J. M. Tchuenche, S. A. Khamis, F. B. Agusto & S. C. Mpeshe - 2011 - Acta Biotheoretica 59 (1):1-28.
    We formulate and analyze the dynamics of an influenza pandemic model with vaccination and treatment using two preventive scenarios: increase and decrease in vaccine uptake. Due to the seasonality of the influenza pandemic, the dynamics is studied in a finite time interval. We focus primarily on controlling the disease with a possible minimal cost and side effects using control theory which is therefore applied via the Pontryagin’s maximum principle, and it is observed that full treatment effort should be given while (...)
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  45. added 2013-11-03
    Robustness, Optimality, and the Handicap Principle.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (5).
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  46. added 2013-11-03
    Evolutionary Social Science Beyond Culture.Harold Kincaid - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):356-356.
    Mesoudi et al.'s case can be improved by expanding to compelling selectionist explanations elsewhere in the social sciences and by seeing that natural selection is an instance of general selectionist process. Obstacles include the common use of extreme idealizations and optimality evidence, the copresence of nonselectionist social processes, and the fact that selectionist explanations often presuppose other kinds of social explanations. (Published Online November 9 2006).
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  47. added 2013-11-03
    A Simple Geometrical Pattern for the Branching Distribution of the Bronchial Tree, Useful to Estimate Optimality Departures.Mauricio Canals, Francisco F. Novoa & Mario Rosenmann - 2004 - Acta Biotheoretica 52 (1):1-16.
    The design of the bronchial tree has largely been proposed as a model of optimal design from a physical-functional perspective. However, the distributive function of the airway may be more related to a geometrical than a physical problem. The bronchial tree must distribute a three dimensional volume of inspired air on a two dimensional alveolar surface, included in a limited volume. It is thus valid to ask whether an optimal bronchial tree from a physical perspective is also optimum from a (...)
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  48. added 2013-11-03
    Review of Steven Hecht Orzack, Elliot Sober (Eds.), Adaptationism and Optimality[REVIEW]Roberta L. Millstein - 2002 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2002 (5).
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  49. added 2013-11-03
    Methodological Problems in Evolutionary Biology. XI. Optimal Foraging Theory Revisited.Wim J. van der Steen - 1998 - Acta Biotheoretica 46 (4):321-336.
    Optimality theory, particularly optimal foraging theory (OFT), has spurned controversy over decades. I argue that the controversy results from conceptual pitfalls. The focus in this article is on pitfalls underlying the concept of constraint. Constraints in OFT models are a means to distinguish between possible and impossible behaviours. I argue that the seemingly innocuous notion of (im)possibility is tricky. It is indeed linked here with troublesome philosophical problems concerning free will. To steer away from such problems in OFT, we need (...)
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  50. added 2013-11-03
    Bionics, Biological Systems and the Principle of Optimal Design.Aurel I. Popescu - 1998 - Acta Biotheoretica 46 (4):299-310.
    The living world is an exciting and inexhaustible source of high performance solutions to the multitude of biological problems, which were attained as a result of a natural selection, during the millions and millions years evolution of life on Earth. This work presents and comments some examples of high performances of living beings, in the light of the universal principle governing the realm of living matter: Optimal Design Principle. At the same time, the transfer of these optimal solutions, from living (...)
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1 — 50 / 63