Abstract

Before publishing On the Origin of Species, Darwin held the view that well-adapted organisms were optimally designed to meet the specific challenges of an environment, and populations were not expected to change except from an environmental disturbance. Darwin later recognized the prevalence of environmental variation and employed a concept of relative adaptedness. I argue, against Don Ospovat, that Darwin did not entirely abandon his prior idea of “limited perfect adaptedness” when writing the Origin. In order to understand completely the diagram that Darwin presents in connection to the principle of divergence, a notion of limited perfect adaptedness is necessary.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9274
Print ISSN
1063-6145
Pages
pp. 1-22
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-19
Open Access
No
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