Shifting values partly explain the debate over group selection

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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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2004.09.007
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References found in this work BETA
David L. Hull (1980). Individuality and Selection. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 11:311-332.

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Citations of this work BETA
Sarah A. Swenson (2015). From Man to Bacteria’: W.D. Hamilton, the Theory of Inclusive Fitness, and the Post-War Social Order. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 49:45-54.

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