Chapter

The Problem

John O. Reiss

in Not by Design

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780520258938
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944404 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520258938.003.0001
The Problem

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This chapter introduces the problem of biological design of teleology. It provides a brief historical and philosophical background of teleological explanations and argues that only through history can one understand how a naturalistic, mechanistic theory of natural selection came to be associated with the design metaphor. The chapter highlights the main goals of the book, most particularly how Cuvier's principle can be used to help resolve some of the most troublesome conceptual issues in evolutionary biology today, including the proper definition of fitness, adaptation, and natural selection.

Keywords: biological design; teleology; Cuvier's principle; evolutionary biology; fitness; adaptation; natural selection

Chapter.  2755 words. 

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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