Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 639–657 | Cite as

Assessing the fitness landscape revolution

  • Brett CalcottEmail author


According to Pigliucci and Kaplan, there is a revolution underway in how we understand fitness landscapes. Recent models suggest that a perennial problem in these landscapes—how to get from one peak across a fitness valley to another peak—is, in fact, non-existent. In this paper I assess the structure and the extent of Pigliucci and Kaplan’s proposed revolution and argue for two points. First, I provide an alternative interpretation of what underwrites this revolution, motivated by some recent work on model-based science. Second, I show that the implications of this revolution need to carefully assessed depending on question being asked, for peak-shifting is not central to all evolutionary questions that fitness landscapes have been used to explore.


Morphospace Evo-devo Speciation Fitness landscapes Models Neutral change 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy Program, RSSSAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Macroevolution and MacroecologyAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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