David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 17 (4):477-517 (2002)
Recent years have seen a renewed debate over the importance of groupselection, especially as it relates to the evolution of altruism. Onefeature of this debate has been disagreement over which kinds ofprocesses should be described in terms of selection at multiple levels,within and between groups. Adapting some earlier discussions, we presenta mathematical framework that can be used to explore the exactrelationships between evolutionary models that do, and those that donot, explicitly recognize biological groups as fitness-bearing entities.We show a fundamental set of mathematical equivalences between these twokinds of models, one of which applies a form of multi-level selectiontheory and the other being a form of ``individualism.'' However, we alsoargue that each type of model can have heuristic advantages over theother. Indeed, it can be positively useful to engage in a kind ofback-and-forth switching between two different perspectives on theevolutionary role of groups. So the position we defend is a``gestalt-switching pluralism.''.
|Keywords||altruism game theory group selection individual selection multi-level selection pluralism population genetics trait groups|
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Citations of this work BETA
Benjamin Kerr (2004). The Caucus-Race of the Dodo. Biology and Philosophy 19 (5):781-799.
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Michael J. Wade & Christopher C. Dimond (2013). Pluralism in Evolutionary Controversies: Styles and Averaging Strategies in Hierarchical Selection Theories. Biology and Philosophy 28 (6):957-979.
Ellen Clarke (2012). Plant Individuality: A Solution to the Demographer's Dilemma. Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):321-361.
Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther (2006). On the Dangers of Making Scientific Models Ontologically Independent: Taking Richard Levins' Warnings Seriously. Biology and Philosophy 21 (5):703-724.
Samir Okasha (2016). The Relation Between Kin and Multilevel Selection: An Approach Using Causal Graphs. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):435-470.
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