Adaptationism and Optimality

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Steven Orzack, Steven Hecht Orzack, Elliott Sober
Cambridge University Press, Jun 4, 2001 - Philosophy - 404 pages
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The debate over the relative importance of natural selection as compared to other forces affecting the evolution of organisms is a long-standing and central controversy in evolutionary biology. The theory of adaptationism argues that natural selection contains sufficient explanatory power in itself to account for all evolution. However, there are differing views about the efficiency of the adaptation model of explanation. If the adaptationism theory is applied, are energy and resources being used to their optimum? This book presents an up-to-date view of this controversy and reflects the dramatic changes in our understanding of evolution that have occurred in the last twenty years. The volume combines contributions from biologists and philosophers, and offers a systematic treatment of foundational, conceptual, and methodological issues surrounding the theory of adaptationism. The essays examine recent developments in topics such as phylogenetic analysis, the theory of optimality and ess models, and methods of testing models.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
A Likelihood Framework for the Phylogenetic Analysis of Adaptation
24
Adaptation Phylogenetic Inertia and the Method of Controlled Comparisons
45
Optimality and Phylogeny A Critique of Current Thought
64
Fit of Form and Function Diversity of Life and Procession of Life as an Evolutionary Game
114
Optimality and Evolutionary Stability under ShortTerm and LongTerm Selection
161
Selective Regime and Fig Wasp Sex Ratios Toward Sorting Rigor from PseudoRigor in Tests of Adaptation
191
Is Optimality Over the Hill? The Fitness Landscapes of Idealized Organisms
219
Adaptation Optimality and the Meaning of Phenotypic Variation in Natural Populations
242
Adaptationism Optimality Models and Tests of Adaptive Scenarios
273
Adaptation and Development On the Lack of Common Ground
303
Three Kinds of Adaptationism
335
Adaptation Adaptationism and Optimality
358
Index
389
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About the author (2001)

Elliott Sober is Hans Reichenbach Professor of Philosophy and William F. Vilas Research Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison where he has taught since 1974. His research is in philosophy of science, especially in the philosophy of evolutionary biology. Sober's books include The Nature of Selection - Evolutionary Theory in Philosophical Focus (1984), Reconstructing the Past - Parsimony, Evolution, and Inference (1988), Philosophy of Biology (1993), From a Biological Point of View - Essays in Evolutionary Philosophy (1994), and Unto Others - The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior (1998), coauthored with David Sloan Wilson.

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