Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):231-246 (2009)

Authors
Eric Desjardins
University of Western Ontario
Abstract
In “Spandrels,” Gould and Lewontin criticized what they took to be an all-too-common conviction, namely, that adaptation to current environments determines organic form. They stressed instead the importance of history. In this paper, we elaborate upon their concerns by appealing to other writings in which those issues are treated in greater detail. Gould and Lewontin’s combined emphasis on history was three-fold. First, evolution by natural selection does not start from scratch, but always refashions preexisting forms. Second, preexisting forms are refashioned by the selection of whatever mutational variations happen to arise: the historical order of mutations needs to be taken into account. Third, the order of environments and selection pressures also needs to be taken into account
Keywords Philosophy   Evolutionary Biology   Philosophy of Biology
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-008-9149-3
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References found in this work BETA

The Genetic Basis of Evolutionary Change. R. C. Lewontin.Michael Ruse - 1976 - Philosophy of Science 43 (2):302-304.
Darwin Was a Teleologist.James G. Lennox - 1993 - Biology and Philosophy 8 (4):409-421.

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Historicity and Experimental Evolution.Eric Desjardins - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):339-364.
Historical Reconstruction: Gaining Epistemic Access to the Deep Past.Patrick Forber - 2011 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 3 (20130604).
Taking iPhone Seriously: Epistemic Technologies and the Extended Mind.Isaac Record & Boaz Miller - forthcoming - In Duncan Pritchard, Jesper Kallestrup‎, Orestis Palermos & J. Adam Carter‎ (eds.), Extended Epistemology. Oxford University Press.

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

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