David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (3):481-504 (2004)
Two alternative statistical approaches to modelling multi-level selection in nature, both found in the contemporary biological literature, are contrasted. The simple covariance approach partitions the total selection differential on a phenotypic character into within-group and between-group components, and identifies the change due to group selection with the latter. The contextual approach partitions the total selection differential into different components, using multivariate regression analysis. The two approaches have different implications for the question of what constitutes group selection and what does not. I argue that the contextual approach is theoretically preferable. This has important implications for a number of issues in the philosophical debate about the levels of selection. Introduction Group selection and the covariance formulation of selection The contextual approach A modification of the simple covariance approach Consequences: frameshifting and additivity 5.1 Frameshifting 5.2 Additivity Conclusion.
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Citations of this work BETA
S. Okasha (forthcoming). The Relation Between Kin and Multilevel Selection: An Approach Using Causal Graphs. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axu047.
P. Godfrey-Smith & B. Kerr (2013). Gestalt-Switching and the Evolutionary Transitions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):205-222.
Christopher Clarke (forthcoming). Multi-Level Selection and the Explanatory Value of Mathematical Decompositions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv008.
Samir Okasha (2006). The Levels of Selection Debate: Philosophical Issues. Philosophy Compass 1 (1):74–85.
Brian McLoone (2015). Some Criticism of the Contextual Approach, and a Few Proposals. Biological Theory 10 (2):116-124.
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