Biology and Philosophy

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 1041–1050

The strategy concept and John Maynard Smith’s influence on theoretical biology

  • Manfred D. Laubichler
  • Edward H. Hagen
  • Peter Hammerstein

DOI: 10.1007/s10539-005-9022-6

Cite this article as:
Laubichler, M.D., Hagen, E.H. & Hammerstein, P. Biol Philos (2005) 20: 1041. doi:10.1007/s10539-005-9022-6


Here we argue that the concept of strategies, as it was introduced into biology by John Maynard Smith, is a prime illustration of the four dimensions of theoretical biology in the post-genomic era. These four dimensions are: data analysis and management, mathematical and computational model building and simulation, concept formation and analysis, and theory integration. We argue that all four dimensions of theoretical biology are crucial to future interactions between theoretical and empirical biologists as well as with philosophers of biology.


Evolutionary developmental biology Evolutionary stable strategy Game theory Theoretical biology 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred D. Laubichler
    • 1
  • Edward H. Hagen
    • 2
  • Peter Hammerstein
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Life Sciences, Center for Social Complexity and Dynamics, Center for Biology and SocietyArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Theoretical BiologyHumboldt Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany

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