David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 19 (2):167-184 (2004)
This paper compares two well-known arguments in the units of selection literature, one due to , the other due to . Both arguments concern the legitimacy of averaging fitness values across contexts and making inferences about the level of selection on that basis. The first three sections of the paper shows that the two arguments are incompatible if taken at face value, their apparent similarity notwithstanding. If we accept Sober and Lewontin's criterion for when averaging genic fitnesses across diploid genotypes is illegitmate, we cannot accept Sober and Wilson's criterion for when averaging individual fitnesses across groups is illegitimate, and vice versa. The final section suggests a possible way of reconciling the two arguments, by invoking an ambiguity in the concept of genic selection.
|Keywords||Averaging fallacy Genic selection Group selection Levels of selection|
|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
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.
Similar books and articles
Elliott Sober (1980). Holism, Individualism, and the Units of Selection. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:93 - 121.
Richard Burian (2010). Selection Does Not Operate Primarily on Genes. In Francisco José Ayala & Robert Arp (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology. Wiley-Blackwell Pub..
Elliott Sober & Richard C. Lewontin (1982). Artifact, Cause and Genic Selection. Philosophy of Science 49 (2):157-180.
Tim Lewens (2010). The Natures of Selection. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (2):313-333.
David Walton (1991). The Units of Selection and the Bases of Selection. Philosophy of Science 58 (3):417-435.
Robert Brandon (1982). The Levels of Selection. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:315 - 323.
Sahotra Sarkar (2008). A Note on Frequency Dependence and the Levels/Units of Selection. Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):217-228.
Samir Okasha (2005). Maynard Smith on the Levels of Selection Question. Biology and Philosophy 20 (5):989-1010.
Samir Okasha (2001). Why Won't the Group Selection Controversy Go Away? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (1):25-50.
Elliott Sober (2011). Realism, Conventionalism, and Causal Decomposition in Units of Selection: Reflections on Samir Okasha's Evolution and the Levels of Selection. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):221-231.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads19 ( #89,007 of 1,101,577 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #292,059 of 1,101,577 )
How can I increase my downloads?