David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy Research Archives 12:519-539 (1986)
This paper inquires into the very possibility of the units of selection debate’s origin in the problem of altruism, function in articulating the evolutionary synthesis, and philosophical status as a problem in clarifying what makes something a level or unit of selection. What makes the debate possible? In terms of origins, there are a number of logically possible ways to deviate from the model of Darwinian individual selection to explain evolved traits. In terms of function, adherence to the evolutionary synthesis yields norms which restrict these possibilities to a manageable few. In terms of philosophical status, the abstract structure of selection mechanisms permits a causal construal, on which the unit of selection is identified with the “unit of possession”, that which possesses the causally efficacious trait selected for. It also allows a teleological interpretation, on which the unit of selection is identified with the “unit of benefit”, that for the sake of which the causally efficacious trait is selected. It is proposed that a unit of selection is really a pair of units, consisting of both a unit of possession and a unit of benefit
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Timothy Shanahan (1990). Evolution, Phenotypic Selection, and the Units of Selection. Philosophy of Science 57 (2):210-225.
Sandra D. Mitchell (1987). Competing Units of Selection?: A Case of Symbiosis. Philosophy of Science 54 (3):351-367.
Elisabeth A. Lloyd (1989). A Structural Approach to Defining Units of Selection. Philosophy of Science 56 (3):395-418.
Sahotra Sarkar (1994). The Selection of Alleles and the Additivity of Variance. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:3 - 12.
William C. Wimsatt (1980). The Units of Selection and the Structure of the Multi-Level Genome. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:122 - 183.
Harmon R. Holcomb Iii (1988). Constraints on Defining the 'Level' and 'Unit' of Selection. Theoria 4 (1):107-138.
Peter Godfrey-Smith (1992). Additivity and the Units of Selection. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:315 - 328.
I. I. I. Holcomb (1988). Constraints on Defining the 'Level' and 'Unit' of Selection. Theoria 4 (1):107-138.
David Walton (1991). The Units of Selection and the Bases of Selection. Philosophy of Science 58 (3):417-435.
John Cassidy (1981). Ambiguities and Pragmatic Factors in the Units of Selection Controversy. Philosophy of Science 48 (1):95-111.
Robert Brandon (1982). The Levels of Selection. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:315 - 323.
Carmen Sapienza (2010). Selection Does Operate Primarily on Genes : In Defense of the Gene as the Unit of Selection. In Francisco José Ayala & Robert Arp (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology. Wiley-Blackwell Pub.. 127--140.
Thomas C. Kane, Robert C. Richardson & Daniel W. Fong (1990). The Phenotype as the Level of Selection: Cave Organisms as Model Systems. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:151 - 164.
Elliott Sober & Richard C. Lewontin (1982). Artifact, Cause and Genic Selection. Philosophy of Science 49 (2):157-180.
Robert N. Brandon (1999). The Units of Selection Revisited: The Modules of Selection. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 14 (2):167-180.
Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
Added to index2011-12-02
Total downloads1 ( #454,007 of 1,100,056 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #304,128 of 1,100,056 )
How can I increase my downloads?