Underdetermination and Evidence in the Developmental Plasticity Debate

Karen Kovaka
University of Pennsylvania
I identify a controversial hypothesis in evolutionary biology called the plasticity-first hypothesis. I argue that the plasticity-first hypothesis is underdetermined and that the most popular means of studying the plasticity-first hypothesis are insufficient to confirm or disconfirm it. I offer a strategy for overcoming this problem. Researchers need to develop a richer middle range theory of plasticity-first evolution that allows them to identify distinctive empirical traces of the hypothesis. They can then use those traces to discriminate between rival explanations of evolutionary episodes. The best tools for developing such a middle range theory are experimental evolution and formal modelling.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axx038
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,955
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

What, If Anything, is an Evolutionary Novelty?Massimo Pigliucci - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):887-898.

View all 22 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Down to Earth Underdetermination.Gordon Belot - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (2):456-464.
The Concept of Evidence in Evidence-Based Practice.Tone Kvernbekk - 2011 - Educational Theory 61 (5):515-532.
Refusing the Devil's Bargain: What Kind of Underdetermination Should We Take Seriously?P. Kyle Stanford - 2001 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2001 (3):S1-.
Closure and Underdetermination Again.Ju Wang - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (4):1129-1140.


Added to PP index

Total views
9 ( #661,557 of 2,319,376 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #272,343 of 2,319,376 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature