Shifting values partly explain the debate over group selection

Abstract
I argue that images of the notion of group, in correspondence with their social and political values, shape the debate over the evolution of altruism by group selection. Important aspects of this debate are empirical, and criteria can decide among a variety of selection processes. However, leading researchers undermine or reinterpret such tests, explaining the evolution of altruism on the basis of a single extreme metaphor of ‘group’ and a single inclusive selection process. I shall argue that the extreme images for the notion of group are associated with ideologies that these researchers support or fear. Hence, the history of social and political uses of ‘group’ and ‘group selection’ can explain, at least in part, some of the empirical deficiencies of the debate, and why it has continued without resolution or dissolution
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Samir Okasha (2001). Why Won't the Group Selection Controversy Go Away? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (1):25-50.
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