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  1. Michael W. Barclay (1995). The Theory of Neuronal Group Selection and its Implications for Psychology: A Critique of the Biological Self. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 15 (1):41-57.
  2. Matthew Barrett & Peter Godfrey-smith (2002). Group Selection, Pluralism, and the Evolution of Altruism. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (3):685–691.
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  3. Donato Bergandi (2013). Natural Selection Among Replicators, Interactors and Transactors. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 35 (2):213-238.
    In evolutionary biology and ecology, ontological and epistemological perspectives based on the replicator and the interactor have become the background that makes it possible to transcend traditional biological levels of organization and to achieve a unified view of evolution in which replication and interaction are fundamental operating processes. Using the transactional perspective proposed originally by John Dewey and Arthur Fisher Bentley, a new ontological and methodological category is proposed here: the transactor. The transactional perspective, based on the concept of the (...)
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  4. Jonathan Birch & James A. R. Marshall (2014). Queller's Separation Condition Explained and Defended. American Naturalist 184 (4):531-540.
    The theories of inclusive fitness and multilevel selection provide alternative perspectives on social evolution. The question of whether these perspectives are of equal generality remains a divisive issue. In an analysis based on the Price equation, Queller argued (by means of a principle he called the separation condition) that the two approaches are subject to the same limitations, arising from their fundamentally quantitative-genetical character. Recently, van Veelen et al. have challenged Queller’s results, using this as the basis for a broader (...)
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  5. Jonathan Birch & Samir Okasha (forthcoming). Kin Selection and Its Critics. BioScience.
    Hamilton’s theory of kin selection is the best-known framework for understanding the evolution of social behavior but has long been a source of controversy in evolutionary biology. A recent critique of the theory by Nowak, Tarnita, and Wilson sparked a new round of debate, which shows no signs of abating. In this overview, we highlight a number of conceptual issues that lie at the heart of the current debate. We begin by emphasizing that there are various alternative formulations of Hamilton’s (...)
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  6. Pierrick Bourrat (2014). Levels of Selection Are Artefacts of Different Fitness Temporal Measures. Ratio 27 (4).
    In this paper I argue against the claim, recently put forward by some philosophers of biology and evolutionary biologists, that there can be two or more ontologically distinct levels of selection. I show by comparing the fitness of individuals with that of collectives of individuals in the same environment and over the same period of time – as required to decide if one or more levels of selection is acting in a population – that the selection of collectives is a (...)
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  7. Robert Boyd & Peter J. Richerson, Transmission Coupling Mechanisms: Cultural Group Selection.
    The application of phylogenetic methods to cultural variation raises questions about how cultural adaption works and how it is coupled to cultural transmission. Cultural group selection is of particular interest in this context because it depends on the same kinds of mechanisms that lead to tree-like patterns of cultural variation. Here, we review ideas about cultural group selection relevant to cultural phylogenetics. We discuss why group selection among multiple equilibria is not subject to the usual criticisms directed at group selection, (...)
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  8. Michael Byron, Morality and Evolution by Group Selection.
    Consider the paradox of altruism: the existence of truly altruistic behaviors is difficult to reconcile with an evolutionary theory which holds that natural selection operates only on individuals, since in that case individuals should be unwilling to sacrifice their own fitness for the sake of others. Evolutionists have frequently turned to the hypothesis of group selection to explain the existence of altruism; but, even setting aside difficulties about understanding the relationship between altruistic behaviors and morality, group selection cannot explain the (...)
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  9. John Cassidy (1978). Philosophical Aspects of the Group Selection Controversy. Philosophy of Science 45 (4):575-594.
    This article is primarily a study of the group selection controversy, with special emphasis on the period from 1962 to the present, and the rise of inclusive fitness theory. Interest is focused on the relations between individual fitness theory and other fitness theories and on the methodological imperatives used in the controversy over the status of these theories. An appendix formalizes the notion of "assertive part" which is used in the informal discussion of the methodological imperatives elicited from the controversy.
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  10. Christopher Clarke (forthcoming). Multi-Level Selection and the Explanatory Value of Mathematical Decompositions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Do multi-level selection explanations of the evolution of social traits deepen the understanding provided by single-level explanations? Central to the former is a mathematical theorem, the multi-level Price decomposition. I build a framework through which to understand the explanatory role of such non-empirical decompositions in scientific practice. Applying this general framework to the present case places two tasks on the agenda. The first task is to distinguish the various ways of suppressing within-collective variation in fitness, and moreover to evaluate their (...)
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  11. Doyne Dawson (1999). Evolutionary Theory and Group Selection: The Question of Warfare. History and Theory 38 (4):79–100.
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  12. Bruce Glymour (2008). Correlated Interaction and Group Selection. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (4):835-855.
    argues that correlated interactions are necessary for group selection. His argument turns on a particular procedure for measuring the strength of selection, and employs a restricted conception of correlated interaction. It is here shown that the procedure in question is unreliable, and that while related procedures are reliable in special contexts, they do not require correlated interactions for group selection to occur. It is also shown that none of these procedures, all of which employ partial regression methods, are reliable when (...)
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  13. Peter Godfrey-Smith (2002). Group Selection, Pluralism, and the Evolution of Altruism. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (3):685 - 691.
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  14. Stephen Jay Gould & Elisabeth A. Lloyd (1999). Individuality and Adaptation Across Levels of Selection: How Shall We Name and Generalize the Unit of Darwinism? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 96 (21):11904-09.
    Two major clarifications have greatly abetted the understanding and fruitful expansion of the theory of natural selection in recent years: the acknowledgment that interactors, not replicators, constitute the causal unit of selection; and the recognition that interactors are Darwinian individuals, and that such individuals exist with potency at several levels of organization (genes, organisms, demes, and species in particular), thus engendering a rich hierarchical theory of selection in contrast with Darwin’s own emphasis on the organismic level. But a piece of (...)
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  15. James R. Griesemer & Michael J. Wade (1988). Laboratory Models, Causal Explanation and Group Selection. Biology and Philosophy 3 (1):67-96.
    We develop an account of laboratory models, which have been central to the group selection controversy. We compare arguments for group selection in nature with Darwin's arguments for natural selection to argue that laboratory models provide important grounds for causal claims about selection. Biologists get information about causes and cause-effect relationships in the laboratory because of the special role their own causal agency plays there. They can also get information about patterns of effects and antecedent conditions in nature. But to (...)
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  16. Andrew Hamilton & Christopher Dimond (2012). Groups, Individuals, and Evolutionary Restraints: The Making of the Contemporary Debate Over Group Selection. Biology and Philosophy 27 (2):299-312.
    Groups, individuals, and evolutionary restraints : the making of the contemporary debate over group selection Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-14 DOI 10.1007/s10539-011-9255-5 Authors Andrew Hamilton, Center for Biology and Society, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501 USA Christopher C. Dimond, Center for Biology and Society, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501 USA Journal Biology and Philosophy Online ISSN 1572-8404 Print ISSN 0169-3867.
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  17. Andrew Hamilton, Nathan Smith & Matthew Haber (2009). Social Insects and the Individuality Thesis: Cohesion and the Colony as a Selectable Individual. In Juergen Gadau & Jennifer Fewell (eds.), Organization of Insect Societies: From Genome to Sociocomplexity. Harvard.
  18. Simon Huttegger & Rory Smead (2011). Efficient Social Contracts and Group Selection. Biology and Philosophy 26 (4):517-531.
    We consider the Stag Hunt in terms of Maynard Smith’s famous Haystack model. In the Stag Hunt, contrary to the Prisoner’s Dilemma, there is a cooperative equilibrium besides the equilibrium where every player defects. This implies that in the Haystack model, where a population is partitioned into groups, groups playing the cooperative equilibrium tend to grow faster than those at the non-cooperative equilibrium. We determine under what conditions this leads to the takeover of the population by cooperators. Moreover, we compare (...)
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  19. Michael Anthony Istvan (2013). Gould Talking Past Dawkins on the Unit of Selection Issue. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 44 (3):327-335.
    My general aim is to clarify the foundational difference between Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins concerning what biological entities are the units of selection in the process of evolution by natural selection. First, I recapitulate Gould’s central objection to Dawkins’s view that genes are the exclusive units of selection. According to Gould, it is absurd for Dawkins to think that genes are the exclusive units of selection when, after all, genes are not the exclusive interactors: those agents directly engaged (...)
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  20. Jeff Kirby (2003). A New Group-Selection Model for the Evolution of Homosexuality. Biology and Philosophy 18 (5):683-694.
    Abstract. Scientists have long puzzled over how homosexual orientation has evolved, given the assumed low relative fitness of homosexual individuals compared to heterosexual individuals. A number of theoretical models for the evolution of homosexuality have been postulated including balance polymorphism, "Fertile females", hypervariability of DNA sequences, kin selection, and "parental manipulation". In this paper, I propose a new group-selection model for the evolution of homosexuality which offers two advantages over existing models: (1) its non-assumption of genetic determinism, and (2) its (...)
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  21. Mohan Matthen (2011). Art, Sexual Selection, Group Selection (Critical Notice of Denis Dutton, The Art Instinct). Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (2):337-356.
    The capacity to engage with art is a human universal present in all cultures and just about every individual human. This indicates that this capacity is evolved. In this Critical Notice of Denis Dutton's The Art Instinct, I discuss various evolutionary scenarios and their consequences. Dutton and I both reject the "spandrel" approach that originates from the work of Gould and Lewontin. Dutton proposes, following work of Geoffrey Miller, that art is sexually selected--that art-production is a sign of a fit (...)
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  22. Deborah G. Mayo & Norman L. Gilinsky (1987). Models of Group Selection. Philosophy of Science 54 (4):515-538.
    The key problem in the controversy over group selection is that of defining a criterion of group selection that identifies a distinct causal process that is irreducible to the causal process of individual selection. We aim to clarify this problem and to formulate an adequate model of irreducible group selection. We distinguish two types of group selection models, labeling them type I and type II models. Type I models are invoked to explain differences among groups in their respective rates of (...)
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  23. Bence Nanay (2010). Group Selection and Our Obsession with the Grand Questions of Life. The Monist.
    The aim of this paper is to make an unlikely connection between the old question about the meaning of life and some important concepts in philosophy of biology. More precisely, I argue that while biology is unlikely to help us to figure out the meaning of life, the fact that this question has been considered to be such a crucial one could be explained with the help of some consideration of our evolutionary past. I argue that if there is evidence (...)
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  24. Bence Nanay (2010). Group Selection and Our Obsession with the Meaning of Life. The Monist 93 (1):76-95.
    The aim of this paper is to make an unlikely connection between the old question about the meaning of life and some important concepts in philosophy of biology. More precisely, I argue that while biology is unlikely to help us to figure out the meaning of life, the fact that this question has been considered to be such a crucial one could be explained with the help of some consideration of our evolutionary past. I argue that if there is evidence (...)
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  25. Samir Okasha (2005). Altruism, Group Selection and Correlated Interaction. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):703-725.
    Group selection is one acknowledged mechanism for the evolution of altruism. It is well known that for altruism to spread by natural selection, interactions must be correlated; that is, altruists must tend to associate with one another. But does group selection itself require correlated interactions? Two possible arguments for answering this question affirmatively are explored. The first is a bad argument, for it rests on a product/process confusion. The second is a more subtle argument, whose validity (or otherwise) turns on (...)
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  26. Samir Okasha (2001). Why Won't the Group Selection Controversy Go Away? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (1):25-50.
    The group selection controversy is about whether natural selection ever operates at the level of groups, rather than at the level of individual organisms. Traditionally, group selection has been invoked to explain the existence of altruistic behaviour in nature. However, most contemporary evolutionary biologists are highly sceptical of the hypothesis of group selection, which they regard as biologically implausible and not needed to explain the evolution of altruism anyway. But in their recent book, Elliot Sober and David Sloan Wilson [1998] (...)
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  27. Samir Okasha & Cedric Paternotte (2012). Group Adaptation, Formal Darwinism and Contextual Analysis. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 25 (6):1127–1139.
    We consider the question: under what circumstances can the concept of adaptation be applied to groups, rather than individuals? Gardner and Grafen (2009, J. Evol. Biol.22: 659–671) develop a novel approach to this question, building on Grafen's ‘formal Darwinism’ project, which defines adaptation in terms of links between evolutionary dynamics and optimization. They conclude that only clonal groups, and to a lesser extent groups in which reproductive competition is repressed, can be considered as adaptive units. We re-examine the conditions under (...)
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  28. Cedric Paternotte (forthcoming). Shared Adaptiveness is Not Group Adaptation - Commentary of E. Van der Vliert's 'Climato-Economic Habitats Support Patterns of Human Needs, Stresses, and Freedoms'. Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
    Climate stresses and monetary resources seem to lead to different collective adaptations. However, the reference to adaptation and to ambiguous collective dimensions appears premature; populations may entertain nothing more than shared adaptiveness. At this point, the intricacy of the underlying evolutionary processes (cultural selection, fitness-utility decoupling) very much obscures any diagnosis based on correlations.
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  29. Charles H. Pence, Hope Hollocher, Ryan Nichols, Grant Ramsey, Edwin Siu & Daniel John Sportiello (2011). Elliott Sober: Did Darwin Write the Origin Backwards? Philosophical Essays on Darwin's Theory. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 78 (4):705-709.
  30. Vernon Pratt (1975). Functionalism and the Possibility of Group Selection. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 5 (4):371-372.
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  31. Grant Ramsey & Robert Brandon (2011). Why Reciprocal Altruism is Not a Kind of Group Selection. Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):385-400.
    Reciprocal altruism was originally formulated in terms of individual selection and most theorists continue to view it in this way. However, this interpretation of reciprocal altruism has been challenged by Sober and Wilson (1998). They argue that reciprocal altruism (as well as all other forms of altruism) evolves by the process of group selection. In this paper, we argue that the original interpretation of reciprocal altruism is the correct one. We accomplish this by arguing that if fitness attaches to (at (...)
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  32. Edward Reed (1978). Group Selection and Methodological Individualism: A Criticism of Watkins. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 29 (3):256-262.
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  33. Gabriele K. Ruchala, Performance Pay, Group Selection and Group Performance.
    Within a laboratory experiment we investigate a principal-agent game in which agents may, first, self-select into a group task (GT) or an individual task (IT) and, second, choose work effort. In their choices of task and effort the agents have to consider pay contracts for both tasks as offered by the principal. The rational solution of the game implies that contract design may not induce agents to select GT and provide positive effort in GT. Furthermore it predicts equal behavior of (...)
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  34. Ayelet Shavit (2005). The Notion of 'Group' and Tests of Group Selection. Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1052-1063.
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  35. Ayelet Shavit (2004). Shifting Values Partly Explain the Debate Over Group Selection. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 35 (4):697-720.
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  36. Ayelet Shavit & Roberta L. Millstein (2008). Group Selection is Dead! Long Live Group Selection? BioScience 58 (7):574-575.
    We live in interesting times. Two well-known biologists — E. O. Wilson and Richard Dawkins — and some of their well-known colleagues, who used to employ broadly similar selection models, now deeply disagree over the role of group selection in the evolution of eusociality (or so we argue). Yet they describe their models as interchangeable. As philosophers of biology, we wonder whether there is substantial (i.e., empirical) disagreement here at all, and, if there is, what is this disagreement about? We (...)
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  37. Jacob Stegenga (2014). Population Pluralism and Natural Selection. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu003.
    I defend a radical interpretation of biological populations—what I call population pluralism—which holds that there are many ways that a particular grouping of individuals can be related such that the grouping satisfies the conditions necessary for those individuals to evolve together. More constraining accounts of biological populations face empirical counter-examples and conceptual difficulties. One of the most intuitive and frequently employed conditions, causal connectivity—itself beset with numerous difficulties—is best construed by considering the relevant causal relations as ‘thick’ causal concepts. I (...)
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  38. Brad Lowell Stone, “The Current Evidence for Hayek's Culture Group Selection Theory”.
    In this article I summarize Friedrich Hayek’s cultural group selection theory and describe the evidence gathered by current cultural group selection theorists within the behavioral and social sciences supporting Hayek’s main assertions. I conclude with a few comments on Hayek and libertarianism.
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  39. Nicholas S. Thompson (2000). Niche Construction and Group Selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (1):161-162.
    The antipathy toward group selection expressed in the target article is puzzling because Laland et al.'s ideas dovetail neatly with modern group selection theory.
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  40. Nicholas S. Thompson (1998). Reintroducing “Reintroducing Group Selection to the Human Behavioral Sciences”to BBS Readers. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (2):304-305.
    Wilson and Sober's (1994t) revival of group selection theory may have failed with some readers because its simple arithmetic foundation was obscured under the complexities of its presentation. When that uncontrovertible principle is uncovered, it broadens dramatically the fundamental motives that social scientists may impute to human nature and still be consistent with Darwinian evolutionary theory.
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  41. J. Jeffrey Tillman (2008). Sacrificial Agape and Group Selection in Contemporary American Christianity. Zygon 43 (3):541-556.
    Human altruistic behavior has received a great deal of scientific attention over the past forty years. Altruistic-like behaviors found among insects and animals have illumined certain human behaviors, and the revival of interest in group selection has focused attention on how sacrificial altruism, although not adaptive for individuals, can be adaptive for groups. Curiously, at the same time that sociobiology has placed greater emphasis on the value of sacrificial altruism, Protestant ethics in America has moved away from it. While Roman (...)
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  42. David Sloan Wilson (1999). A Critique of R.D. Alexander's Views on Group Selection. Biology and Philosophy 14 (3):431-449.
    Group selection is increasingly being viewed as an important force in human evolution. This paper examines the views of R.D. Alexander, one of the most influential thinkers about human behavior from an evolutionary perspective, on the subject of group selection. Alexander's general conception of evolution is based on the gene-centered approach of G.C. Williams, but he has also emphasized a potential role for group selection in the evolution of individual genomes and in human evolution. Alexander's views are internally inconsistent and (...)
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  43. Robert A. Wilson (2004). Test Cases, Resolvability, and Group Selection: A Critical Examination of the Myxoma Case. Philosophy of Science 71 (3):380-401.
    The evolution of the myxoma virus in Australia has been presented for many years as a test case for the hypothesis that group selection can function effectively `in the wild.' This paper critically examines the myxoma case, and argues that its failure as a test case for this hypothesis has broader implications for debates over the levels of selection.
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  44. Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2001). Book Review:Ants at Work: How an Insect Society Is Organized Deborah Gordon. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 68 (2):268-270.
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  45. Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Michael J. Wade & Christopher C. Dimond (2013). Pluralism in Evolutionary Controversies: Styles and Averaging Strategies in Hierarchical Selection Theories. Biology and Philosophy 28 (6):957-979.
    Two controversies exist regarding the appropriate characterization of hierarchical and adaptive evolution in natural populations. In biology, there is the Wright-Fisher controversy over the relative roles of random genetic drift, natural selection, population structure, and interdemic selection in adaptive evolution begun by Sewall Wright and Ronald Aylmer Fisher. There is also the Units of Selection debate, spanning both the biological and the philosophical literature and including the impassioned group-selection debate. Why do these two discourses exist separately, and interact relatively little? (...)
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