Biology and Philosophy

, Volume 20, Issue 2–3, pp 517–544 | Cite as

Critical Notice: Cycles of Contingency – Developmental Systems and Evolution

  • James GriesemerEmail author
  • Matthew H. Haber
  • Grant Yamashita
  • Lisa Gannett


The themes, problems and challenges of developmental systems theory as described in Cycles of Contingency are discussed. We argue in favor of a robust approach to philosophical and scientific problems of extended heredity and the integration of behavior, development, inheritance, and evolution. Problems with Sterelny's proposal to evaluate inheritance systems using his `Hoyle criteria' are discussed and critically evaluated. Additional support for a developmental systems perspective is sought in evolutionary studies of performance and behavior modulation of fitness.


Behavior modulation Developmental systems theory Extended heredity Epigenetic inheritance Hoyle criteria 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Griesemer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matthew H. Haber
    • 1
  • Grant Yamashita
    • 2
  • Lisa Gannett
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Center for Population BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.Population Biology Graduate Group and Center for Population BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavis
  3. 3.Department of PhilosophySaint Mary's CollegeHallifaxCanada

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