A note on frequency dependence and the levels/units of selection

Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):217-228 (2008)
On the basis of distinctions between those properties of entities that can be defined without reference to other entities and those that (in different ways) cannot, this note argues that non-trivial forms of frequency-dependent selection of entities should be interpreted as selection occurring at a level higher than that of those entities. It points out that, except in degenerately simple cases, evolutionary game-theoretic models of selection are not models of individual selection. Similarly, models of genotypic selection such as heterosis cannot be legitimately interpreted as models of genic selection. The analysis presented here supports the views that: (i) selection should be viewed as a multi-level process; (ii) upper-level selection is ubiquitous; (iii) kin selection should be viewed as a type of group selection rather than individual selection; and (iv) inclusive fitness is not an individual property.
Keywords Philosophy   Evolutionary Biology   Philosophy of Biology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10539-007-9092-8
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,280
External links
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
Sahotra Sarkar (1998). Genetics and Reductionism. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Sahotra Sarkar (2014). Formal Darwinism. Biology and Philosophy 29 (2):249-257.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
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.
Robert C. Richardson (1982). Grades of Organization and the Units of Selection Controversy. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:324 - 340.
Alejandro Rosas (2009). Levels of Selection in Synergy. Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 28 (2):135-150.
Ben Goertzel (1992). What is Hierarchical Selection? Biology and Philosophy 7 (1):27-33.
Robert Brandon (1982). The Levels of Selection. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:315 - 323.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

27 ( #176,247 of 1,932,488 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #332,988 of 1,932,488 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.