The Evolution of Theoretically Useful Traits
Author: Stout R.
Source: Biology and Philosophy, Volume 13, Number 4, October 1998 , pp. 529-540(12)
The purely theoretical notion of fitness or optimality that is employed for instance in optimization theory has come under attack from those who think that only a more historically based notion of fitness could have a central role in evolutionary explanation. They argue that the key notion is proven usefulness rather than theoretical usefulness. This paper articulates a notion of theoretical usefulness and defends its role in functional evolutionary explanations.
Document Type: Regular paper
Publication date: 1998-10-01