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Adaptionism and Optimality

Series: Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Biology

Edited By: Steven Hecht Orzack and Elliott Sober

404 pages, Figs, tabs

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Sep 2001 | #123300 | ISBN: 0521598362
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £26.99 $36/€30 approx
Hardback | Sep 2001 | #123297 | ISBN: 052159166X
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £67.99 $90/€77 approx

About this book

Presents an up-to-date view of the controversy between optimality, where organisms optimize energy and resource use, and adaptionism, which argues that natural selection contains sufficient explanatory power to account for all evolution. Also reflected are the dramatic changes in our understanding of evolution that have occurred in the last twenty years.


Introduction; 1. A likelihood framework for the phylogenetic analysis of adaptation David A. Baum and Michael J. Donoghue; 2. Adaptation, phylogenetic inertia, and the method of controlled comparisons Steven Orzack and Elliott Sober; 3. Optimality and phylogeny: a critique of current thought Hudson Kern Reeve and Paul W. Sherman; 4. Fit of form and function, diversity of life, and procession of life as an evolutionary game Joel S. Brown; 5. Optimality and evolutionary stability under short-term and long-term selection Ilan Eshel and Marcus W. Feldman; 6. Selective regime and fig wasp sex ratios: towards sorting rigor from pseudo-rigor in tests of adaptation Edward Allen Herre, Carlos A. Machado, and Stuart A. West; 7. Is optimality over the hill The fitness landscapes of idealized organisms George W. Gilchrist and Joel G. Kingsolver; 8. Adaptation, optimality, and the meaning of phenotypic variation in natural populations Kenneth J. Halama and David N. Reznick; 9. Adaptationism, optimality models, and tests of adaptive scenarios Peter Abrams; 10. Adaptation and development: on the lack of common ground Ron Amundson; 11. Three kinds of adaptationism Peter Godfrey-Smith; 12. Adaptation, adaptationism, and optimality Egbert Giles Leigh, Jr.

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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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