Essay on Contemporary Issues in Ethology: On the Problems Studied in Ethology, Comparative Psychology, and Animal Behavior

Authors

  • Donald A. Dewsbury

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville
      Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611-2065, U.S.A.
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Department of Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611-2065, U.S.A.

Abstract

I review Tinbergen's “four problems of biology,” their antecedents, and their subsequent development in the hands of other writers. As they have been developed from writer to writer the “problems” have been transformed and altered in subtle ways, some of which appear counterproductive. I suggest that the divisions of the problems in terms of “proximate-ultimate” and “how-why” have had unfortunate consequences and I suggest a modest revision so that problems are considered in relation to the genesis, control, and consequences of behavior.

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