David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Francisco José Ayala & Robert Arp (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology. Wiley-Blackwell Pub.. 127--140 (2010)
Natural selection is an important force that shapes the evolution of all living things by determining which individuals contribute the most descendents to future generations. The biological unit upon which selection acts has been the subject of serious debate, with reasonable arguments made on behalf of populations, individuals, individual phenotypic characters and, finally, individual genes themselves. In this essay, I argue that the usual unit of selection is the gene. There are powerful logical arguments in favor of this conclusion, as well as many real-world examples. I also explore the possibility that epigenetic differences between individuals may be heritable between generations. Although few such examples exist, epigenetic differences provide an exciting source of potentially heritable variation that may allow rapid evolutionary change to occur, perhaps in response to environmental influences.
|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
Elliott Sober (2010). Evolutionary Theory and the Reality of Macro Probabilities. In Ellery Eells & James H. Fetzer (eds.), The Place of Probability in Science. Springer. 133--60.
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.
Karen Neander (1995). Pruning the Tree of Life. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (1):59-80.
David Queller (2011). A Gene's Eye View of Darwinian Populations. Biology and Philosophy 26 (6):905-913.
Harmon R. Holcomb Iii (1986). Causes, Ends, and the Units of Selection. Philosophy Research Archives 12:519-539.
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.
Sandra D. Mitchell (1987). Competing Units of Selection?: A Case of Symbiosis. Philosophy of Science 54 (3):351-367.
Timothy Shanahan (1990). Evolution, Phenotypic Selection, and the Units of Selection. Philosophy of Science 57 (2):210-225.
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.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads18 ( #90,756 of 1,098,129 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #78,521 of 1,098,129 )
How can I increase my downloads?