Constraints and spandrels in Gould's structure of evolutionary theory

Biology and Philosophy 19 (1):29-43 (2004)

Abstract

Gould's Structure ofEvolutionary Theory argues that Darwinism hasundergone significant revision. Although Gouldsucceeds in showing that hierarchicalapproaches have expanded Darwinism, hiscritique of adaptationism is less successful. Gould claims that the ubiquity of developmentalconstraints and spandrels has forced biologiststo soften their commitment to adaptationism. Iargue that Gould overstates his conclusion; hisprincipal claims are compatible with at leastsome versions of adaptationism. Despite thisweakness, Gould's discussion of adaptationism –particularly his discussions of the exaptivepool and cross-level spandrels – shouldprovoke new work in evolutionary theory and thephilosophy of biology.

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Todd Grantham
College of Charleston

References found in this work

Species Selection on Variability.Elisabeth A. Lloyd & Gould Stephen J. - 1993 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 90:595-599.
Six Sayings About Adaptationism.Elliott Sober - 1998 - In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Philosophy of Biology. Oxford University Press. pp. 72--86.

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Citations of this work

Why Don’T Zebras Have Machine Guns? Adaptation, Selection, and Constraints in Evolutionary Theory.Timothy Shanahan - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 39 (1):135-146.
Why Don't Zebras Have Machine Guns Adaptation, Selection, and Constraints in Evolutionary Theory.Timothy Shanahan - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 39 (1):135-146.
Radicals and Revolution.Mark E. Borrello - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 35 (1):209-216.
Radicals and Revolution.Mark E. Borrello - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 35 (1):209-216.

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