Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Adaptive Landscape in Evolutionary Biology$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Erik Svensson and Ryan Calsbeek

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199595372

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199595372.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 January 2022

Sewall Wright’s Adaptive Landscape: Philosophical Reflections on Heuristic Value

Sewall Wright’s Adaptive Landscape: Philosophical Reflections on Heuristic Value

(p.16) Chapter 2 Sewall Wright’s Adaptive Landscape: Philosophical Reflections on Heuristic Value
The Adaptive Landscape in Evolutionary Biology

Robert A. Skipper

Michael R. Dietrich

Oxford University Press

Sewall Wright's 1932 adaptive landscape diagram is the most influential visual heuristic in evolutionary biology. Yet, the diagram has met with criticism from biologists and philosophers since its origination. This chapter states that the diagram is a valuable evaluation heuristic for assessing the dynamical behaviour of population genetics models. Although Wright's particular use of it is of dubious value, other biologists have established the diagram's positive heuristic value for evaluating dynamical behaviour. This chapter surveys some of the most influential biological and philosophical work considering the role of the adaptive landscape in evolutionary biology. The chapter builds on a distinction between models, metaphors, and diagrams to make a case for why adaptive landscapes as diagrams have heuristic value for evolutionary biologists.

Keywords:   Sewall Wright, adaptive landscape diagram, heuristic models, metaphors

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .