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Inferring Coevolution

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022


We discuss two inference patterns for inferring the coevolution of two characters on the basis of their properties at a single point in time and determine when developmental interactions can be used to deduce evolutionary order. We discuss the use of the inference patterns we present in the biological literature and assess the arguments’ validity, the degree of support they give to the evolutionary conclusion, how they can be corroborated with empirical evidence, and to what extent they suggest new empirically addressable questions. We suggest that the developmental argument is uniquely applicable to cognitive-cultural coevolution.

Research Article
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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Ohad Kammar’s work was kindly supported by a University of Edinburgh School of Informatics studentship, Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance studentship, the Isaac Newton Trust grant Algebraic Theories, Computational Effects, and Concurrency, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council grant EP/H005633/1, and the European Research Council grant Events, Causality and Symmetry—the Next Generation Semantics. We thank Chris Banks, Sarah Covshoff, Eva Jablonka, Arnon Levy, Yoav Ram, Omri Tal, and the anonymous reviewers of this journal for many useful comments and suggestions.


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