The rise and fall of the adaptive landscape?

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The discussion of the adaptive landscape in the philosophical literature appears to be divided along the following lines. On the one hand, some claim that the adaptive landscape is either "uninterpretable" or incoherent. On the other hand, some argue that the adaptive landscape has been an important heuristic, or tool in the service of explaining, as well as proposing and testing hypotheses about evolutionary change. This paper attempts to reconcile these two views.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-623
Number of pages19
JournalBiology and Philosophy
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2008


  • Adaptive landscape
  • Heuristic
  • Metaphor
  • Model
  • Sewall Wright


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