Social revolution [Book Review]

Biology and Philosophy 27 (4):571-581 (2012)
Abstract
Andrew Bourke’s Principles of Social Evolution identifies three stages that characterize an evolutionary transition in individuality and deploys inclusive fitness theory to explain each stage. The third stage, social group transformation, has hitherto received relatively little attention from inclusive fitness theorists. In this review, I first discuss Bourke’s “virtual dominance” hypothesis for the evolution of the germ line. I then contrast Bourke’s inclusive fitness approach to the major transitions with the multi-level approach developed by Richard Michod, Samir Okasha and others. I suggest that, rather than choosing between these approaches, we should exploit the strengths of both. Finally, I stress the need for a firmer conceptual grasp of the nature of social group transformation.
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