Paul Edmund Griffiths
University of Sydney
A number of philosophers and ‘evolutionary psychologists’ have argued that attacks on adaptationism in contemporary biology are misguided. These thinkers identify anti-adaptationism with advocacy of non-adaptive modes of explanation. They overlook the influence of anti-adaptationism in the development of more rigorous forms of adaptive explanation. Many biologists who reject adaptationism do not reject Darwinism. Instead, they have pioneered the contemporary historical turn in the study of adaptation. One real issue which remains unresolved amongst these methodological advances is the nature of ‘phylogenetic inertia’. To what extent is an adaptive explanation needed for the persistence of a trait as well as its origin?
Keywords Function   Biology   Philosophy of Science
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/47.4.511
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 72,541
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Natural Language and Natural Selection.Steven Pinker & Paul Bloom - 1990 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (4):707-27.
Philosophy of Biology.Elliott Sober - 1993 - Westview Press.

View all 26 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Model Organisms Are Not (Theoretical) Models.Arnon Levy & Adrian Currie - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):327-348.
The Machine Conception of the Organism in Development and Evolution: A Critical Analysis.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 48:162-174.

View all 63 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
75 ( #157,148 of 2,533,474 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #391,480 of 2,533,474 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes