David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):363-380 (2012)
Inclusive fitness theory was not originally designed to explain the major transitions in evolution, but there is a growing consensus that it has the resources to do so. My aim in this paper is to highlight, in a constructive spirit, the puzzles and challenges that remain. I first consider the distinctive aspects of the cooperative interactions we see within the most complex social groups in nature: multicellular organisms and eusocial insect colonies. I then focus on one aspect in particular: the extreme redundancy these societies exhibit. I argue that extreme redundancy poses a distinctive explanatory puzzle for inclusive fitness theory, and I offer a potential solution which casts coercion as the key enabler. I suggest that the general moral to draw from the case is one of guarded optimism: while inclusive fitness is a powerful tool for understanding evolutionary transitions, it must be integrated within a broader framework that recognizes the distinctive problems such transitions present and the distinctive mechanisms by which these problems may be overcome
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References found in this work BETA
Brett Calcott (2008). The Other Cooperation Problem: Generating Benefit. Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):179-203.
Alexander A. Guerrero (2010). The Paradox of Voting and the Ethics of Political Representation. Philosophy and Public Affairs 38 (3):272-306.
David C. Queller & Joan E. Strassmann (1998). Kin Selection and Social Insects. BioScience 48 (3):165-175.
Citations of this work BETA
Jonathan Birch (2014). How Cooperation Became the Norm. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 29 (3):433-444.
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