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
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2004.09.007
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,660
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
David L. Hull (1980). Individuality and Selection. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 11:311-332.

View all 22 references / Add more references

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.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Michael Byron (1999). Evolutionary Ethics and Biologically Supportable Morality. Proceedings of Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, PAIDEIA: Philosophy Educating Humanity.
Samir Okasha (2001). Why Won't the Group Selection Controversy Go Away? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (1):25-50.
Elliott Sober (1980). Holism, Individualism, and the Units of Selection. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:93 - 121.
Samir Okasha (2004). Multi-Level Selection, Covariance and Contextual Analysis. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (3):481-504.
Nicholas S. Thompson (2000). Niche Construction and Group Selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (1):161-162.
Samir Okasha (2003). The Concept of Group Heritability. Biology and Philosophy 18 (3):445-461.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

82 ( #55,463 of 1,948,518 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #125,145 of 1,948,518 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.