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  1. 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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  2. Frédéric Bouchard (2009). Understanding Colonial Traits Using Symbiosis Research and Ecosystem Ecology. Biological Theory 4 (3):240-246.
    E. O. Wilson (1974: 54) describes the problem that social organisms pose: “On what bases do we distinguish the extremely modified members of an invertebrate colony from the organs of a metazoan animal?” This framing of the issue has inspired many to look more closely at how groups of organisms form and behave as emergent individuals. The possible existence of “superorganisms” test our best intuitions about what can count and act as genuine biological individuals and how we should study them. (...)
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  3. Pierrick Bourrat (2014). Levels of Selection Are Artefacts of Different Fitness Temporal Measures. Ratio 27 (3).
    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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  4. Tomislav Bracanovic (2002). The Referee's Dilemma. The Ethics of Scientific Communities and Game Theory. Prolegomena 1 (1):55-74.
    This article argues that various deviations from the basic principles of the scientific ethos – primarily the appearance of pseudoscience in scientific communities – can be formulated and explained using specific models of game theory, such as the prisoner’s dilemma and the iterated prisoner’s dilemma. The article indirectly tackles the deontology of scientific work as well, in which it is assumed that there is no room for moral skepticism, let alone moral anti-realism, in the ethics of scientific communities. Namely, on (...)
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  5. Brett Calcott (2008). The Other Cooperation Problem: Generating Benefit. Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):179-203.
    Understanding how cooperation evolves is central to explaining some core features of our biological world. Many important evolutionary events, such as the arrival of multicellularity or the origins of eusociality, are cooperative ventures between formerly solitary individuals. Explanations of the evolution of cooperation have primarily involved showing how cooperation can be maintained in the face of free-riding individuals whose success gradually undermines cooperation. In this paper I argue that there is a second, distinct, and less well explored, problem of cooperation (...)
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  6. Peter Godfrey-Smith, The Evolution of the Individual.
    Sometimes themes can be found in common across very different systems in which change occurs. Imre Lakatos developed a theory of change in science, and one involving entities visible at different levels. There are theories defended at a particular time, and there are also research programs, larger units that bundle together a sequence of related theories and within which many scientists may work. Research programs are competing higher-level units within a scientific field. Scientific change involves change within research programs, and (...)
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  7. 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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  8. Andrew Hamilton & Matthew Haber (2006). Clades Are Reproducers. Biological Theory 1 (4):381-391.
    Exploring whether clades can reproduce leads to new perspectives on general accounts of biological development and individuation. Here we apply James Griesemer's general account of reproduction to clades. Griesemer's account of reproduction includes a requirement for development, raising the question of whether clades may bemeaningfully said to develop. We offer two illustrative examples of what clade development might look like, though evaluating these examples proves difficult due to the paucity of general accounts of development. This difficulty, however, is instructive about (...)
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  9. 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.
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  10. 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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  11. Ehud Lamm (2014). The Genome as a Developmental Organ. Journal of Physiology 592 (11):2237-2244.
    This paper applies the conceptual toolkit of Evolutionary Developmental Biology (evo‐devo) to the evolution of the genome and the role of the genome in organism development. This challenges both the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis, the dominant view in evolutionary theory for much of the 20th century, and the typically unreflective analysis of heredity by evo‐devo. First, the history of the marginalization of applying system‐thinking to the genome is described. Next, the suggested framework is presented. Finally, its application to the evolution of (...)
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  12. Mohan Matthen (2009). Chicken, Eggs, and Speciation. Noûs 43 (1):94-115.
    Standard biological and philosophical treatments assume that dramatic genotypic or phenotypic change constitutes instantaneous speciation, and that barring such saltation, speciation is gradual evolutionary change in individual properties. Both propositions appear to be incongruent with standard theoretical perspectives on species themselves, since these perspectives are (a) non-pheneticist, and (b) tend to disregard intermediate cases. After reviewing certain key elements of such perspectives, it is proposed that species-membership is mediated by membership in a population. Species-membership depends, therefore, not on intrinsic characteristics (...)
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  13. Mohan Matthen & André Ariew (2009). Selection and Causation. Philosophy of Science 76 (2):201-224.
    We have argued elsewhere that: (A) Natural selection is not a cause of evolution. (B) A resolution-of-forces (or vector addition) model does not provide us with a proper understanding of how natural selection combines with other evolutionary influences. These propositions have come in for criticism recently, and here we clarify and defend them. We do so within the broad framework of our own “hierarchical realization model” of how evolutionary influences combine.
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  14. Alejandro Rosas (2008). Multilevel Selection and Human Altruism. Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):205-215.
    Views on the evolution of altruism based upon multilevel selection on structured populations pay little attention to the difference between fortuitous and deliberate processes leading to assortative grouping. Altruism may evolve when assortative grouping is fortuitously produced by forces external to the organism. But when it is deliberately produced by the same proximate mechanism that controls altruistic responses, as in humans, exploitation of altruists by selfish individuals is unlikely and altruism evolves as an individually advantageous trait. Groups formed with altruists (...)
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  15. Jacob Stegenga (forthcoming). Population Pluralism and Natural Selection. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    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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  16. Michael A. Trestman (2013). Which Comes First in Major Transitions: The Behavioral Chicken, or the Evolutionary Egg? Biological Theory 7 (1):48 - 55.
    This paper takes a close look at the role of behavior in the “major transitions” in evolution—events during which inheritance and development, and therefore the process of adaptation by natural selection, are reorganized at a new level of compositional hierarchy—and at the requirements for sufficiently explaining these important events in the history of life. I argue that behavior played a crucial role in driving at least some of the major transitions. Because behavioral interactions can become stably organized in novel ways (...)
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  17. Denis M. Walsh (2007). The Pomp of Superfluous Causes: The Interpretation of Evolutionary Theory. Philosophy of Science 74 (3):281-303.
    There are two competing interpretations of the modern synthesis theory of evolution: the dynamical (also know as ‘traditional’) and the statistical. The dynamical interpretation maintains that explanations offered under the auspices of the modern synthesis theory articulate the causes of evolution. It interprets selection and drift as causes of population change. The statistical interpretation holds that modern synthesis explanations merely cite the statistical structure of populations. This paper offers a defense of statisticalism. It argues that a change in trait frequencies (...)
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  18. Denis M. Walsh, Andre Ariew & Tim Lewens (2002). The Trials of Life: Natural Selection and Random Drift. Philosophy of Science 69 (3):452-473.
    We distinguish dynamical and statistical interpretations of evolutionary theory. We argue that only the statistical interpretation preserves the presumed relation between natural selection and drift. On these grounds we claim that the dynamical conception of evolutionary theory as a theory of forces is mistaken. Selection and drift are not forces. Nor do selection and drift explanations appeal to the (sub-population-level) causes of population level change. Instead they explain by appeal to the statistical structure of populations. We briefly discuss the implications (...)
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  19. Joeri Witteveen (2009). Darwinism About Darwinism. [REVIEW] Biological Theory 4 (2):207-213.
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