Proper function and recent selection

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

"Modern History" versions of the etiological theory claim that in order for a trait X to have the proper function F, individuals with X must have been recently favored by natural selection for doing F (Godfrey-Smith 1994; Griffiths 1992, 1993). For many traits with prototypical proper functions, however, such recent selection may not have occurred: traits may have been maintained due to lack of variation or due to selection for other effects. I examine this flaw in Modern History accounts and offer an alternative etiological theory, the Continuing Usefulness account, which appears to avoid such problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Volume66
Issue number3 SUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

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Proper Function
Modern History
Usefulness
Natural Selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy

Cite this

Proper function and recent selection. / Schwartz, Peter.

In: Philosophy of Science, Vol. 66, No. 3 SUPPL. 1, 1999.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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