Review Essay

Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 281-293

First online:

Wimsatt and the robustness family: Review of Wimsatt’s Re-engineering Philosophy for Limited Beings

  • Brett CalcottAffiliated withPhilosophy Program, RSSS and Centre for Macroevolution & Macroecology, Australian National University Email author 

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This review of Wimsatt’s book “Re-engineering Philosophy for Limited Beings” focuses on analysing his use of robustness, a central theme in the book. I outline a family of three distinct conceptions of robustness that appear in the book, and look at the different roles they play. I briefly examine what underwrites robustness, and suggest that further work is needed to clarify both the structure of robustness and the relation between it various conceptions.


Robustness Tinkering Engineering