Search results for 'Units of Selection' (try it on Scholar)

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  1. Elisabeth A. Lloyd (1989). A Structural Approach to Defining Units of Selection. Philosophy of Science 56 (3):395-418.
    The conflation of two fundamentally distinct issues has generated serious confusion in the philosophical and biological literature concerning the units of selection. The question of how a unit of selection of defined, theoretically, is rarely distinguished from the question of how to determine the empirical accuracy of claims--either specific or general--concerning which unit(s) is undergoing selection processes. In this paper, I begin by refining a definition of the unit of selection, first presented in the philosophical (...)
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  2.  70
    Robert N. Brandon (1999). The Units of Selection Revisited: The Modules of Selection. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 14 (2):167-180.
    Richard Lewontin's (1970) early work on the units of selection initiated the conceptual and theoretical investigations that have led to the hierarchical perspective on selection that has reached near consensus status today. This paper explores other aspects of his work, work on what he termed continuity and quasi-independence, that connect to contemporary explorations of modularity in development and evolution. I characterize such modules and argue that they are the true units of selection in that they (...)
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  3.  20
    Sandra D. Mitchell (1987). Competing Units of Selection?: A Case of Symbiosis. Philosophy of Science 54 (3):351-367.
    The controversy regarding the unit of selection is fundamentally a dispute about what is the correct causal structure of the process of evolution by natural selection and its ontological commitments. By characterizing the process as consisting of two essential steps--interaction and transmission--a singular answer to the unit question becomes ambiguous. With such an account on hand, two recent defenses of competing units of selection are considered. Richard Dawkins maintains that the gene is the appropriate unit of (...)
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  4. David Walton (1991). The Units of Selection and the Bases of Selection. Philosophy of Science 58 (3):417-435.
    A correct analysis of hierarchical selection processes must specify 1) the objects that succeed differentially as units, and 2) the properties that provide the causal bases for differential success. Here I illustrate how failing to recognize the units/bases distinction creates a contradiction in Elliott Sober's recent account of selection. A revised criterion for units of selection is developed and applied to examples at several biological levels. Criteria for bases of selection are discussed in (...)
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  5. Stuart Glennan (2002). Contextual Unanimity and the Units of Selection Problem. Philosophy of Science 69 (1):118-137.
    Sober and Lewontin's critique of genic selectionism is based upon the principle that a unit of selection should make a context‐independent contribution to fitness. Critics have effectively shown that this principle is flawed. In this paper I show that the context independence principle is an instance of a more general principle for characterizing causes,called the contextual unanimity principle. I argue that this latter principle, while widely accepted, is erroneous. What is needed is to replace the approach to causality characterized (...)
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  6. 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.
    I discuss two subjects in Samir Okasha’s excellent book, Evolution and the Levels of Selection. In consonance with Okasha’s critique of the conventionalist view of the units of selection problem, I argue that conventionalists have not attended to what realists mean by group, individual, and genic selection. In connection with Okasha’s discussion of the Price equation and contextual analysis, I discuss whether the existence of these two quantitative frameworks is a challenge to realism.
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  7.  1
    Robert N. Brandon & Richard Burian (eds.) (1986). Genes, Organisms, Populations: Controversies Over the Units of Selection. A Bradford Book.
    This anthology collects some of the most important papers on what is believed to be the major force in evolution, natural selection. An issue of great consequence in the philosophy of biology concerns the levels at which, and the units upon which selection acts. In recent years, biologists and philosophers have published a large number of papers bearing on this subject. The papers selected for inclusion in this book are divided into three main sections covering the history (...)
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  8. Elliott Sober & David Sloan Wilson (1994). A Critical Review of Philosophical Work on the Units of Selection Problem. Philosophy of Science 61 (4):534-555.
    The evolutionary problem of the units of selection has elicited a good deal of conceptual work from philosophers. We review this work to determine where the issues now stand.
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  9.  43
    D. M. Walsh (2004). Bookkeeping or Metaphysics? The Units of Selection Debate. Synthese 138 (3):337 - 361.
    The Units of Selection debate is a dispute about the causes of population change. I argue that it is generated by a particular `dynamical'' interpretation of natural selection theory, according to which natural selection causes differential survival and reproduction of individuals and natural selection explanations cite these causes. I argue that the dynamical interpretation is mistaken and offer in outline an alternative, `statistical'' interpretation, according to which natural selection theory is a fancy kind of (...)
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  10.  19
    Timothy Shanahan (1997). Pluralism, Antirealism, and the Units of Selection. Acta Biotheoretica 45 (2):117-126.
    In an important article, Kim Sterelny and Philip Kitcher challenge the common assumption that for any biological phenomenon requiring a selectionist explanation, it is possible to identify a uniquely correct account of the relevant selection process. They argue that selection events can be modeled in any of a number of different, equally correct ways. They call their view ' Pluralism,' and explicitly connect it with various antirealist positions in the philosophy of science. I critically evaluate Sterelny and Kitcher's (...)
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  11. Timothy Shanahan (1990). Evolution, Phenotypic Selection, and the Units of Selection. Philosophy of Science 57 (2):210-225.
    In recent years philosophers have attempted to clarify the units of selection controversy in evolutionary biology by offering conceptual analyses of the term 'unit of selection'. A common feature of many of these analyses is an emphasis on the claim that units of selection are entities exhibiting heritable variation in fitness. In this paper I argue that the demand that units of selection be characterized in terms of heritability is unnecessary, as well as (...)
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  12.  19
    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.
    The reductionistic vision of evolutionary theory, "the gene's eye view of evolution" is the dominant view among evolutionary biologists today. On this view, the gene is the only unit with sufficient stability to act as a unit of selection, with individuals and groups being more ephemeral units of function, but not of selection. This view is argued to be incorrect, on several grounds. The empirical and theoretical bases for the existence of higher-level units of selection (...)
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  13.  42
    Elisabeth Lloyd, Units and Levels of Selection. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The theory of evolution by natural selection is, perhaps, the crowning intellectual achievement of the biological sciences. There is, however, considerable debate about which entity or entities are selected and what it is that fits them for that role. This article aims to clarify what is at issue in these debates by identifying four distinct, though often confused, concerns and then identifying how the debates on what constitute the units of selection depend to a significant degree on (...)
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  14.  5
    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.
    Much recent work in sociobiology can be understood as designed to demonstrate the sufficiency of selection operating at lower levels of organization by the development of models at the level of the gene or the individual. Higher level units are accordingly viewed as artifacts of selection operating at lower levels. The adequacy of this latter form of argument is dependent upon issues of the complexity of the systems under consideration. A taxonomy is proposed elaborating a series of (...)
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  15.  7
    Peter Godfrey-Smith (1992). Additivity and the Units of Selection. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:315 - 328.
    "Additive variance in fitness" is an important concept in the formal apparatus of population genetics. Wimsatt and Lloyd have argued that this concept can also be used to decide the "unit of selection" in an evolutionary process. The paper argues that the proposed criteria of Wimsatt and Lloyd are ambiguous, and several interpretations of their views are presented. It is argued that none of these interpretations provide acceptable criteria for deciding units of selection. The reason is that (...)
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  16.  2
    Fred Gifford (1986). Sober's Use of Unanimity in the Units of Selection Problem. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:473 - 482.
    Sober argues that the units of selection problem in evolutionary biology is to be understood and solved by applying the general analysis of what it means for C to cause E in a population. The account he utilizes is the unanimity account, according to which C causes E in a population when C raises the probability of E in each causal context. I argue that he does not succeed here, both because the unanimity account is not well grounded (...)
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  17.  9
    John Cassidy (1981). Ambiguities and Pragmatic Factors in the Units of Selection Controversy. Philosophy of Science 48 (1):95-111.
    The question "what is (are) the unit(s) of selection" can be interpreted in three different ways. These interpretations are discussed and it is shown that they prompt different answers; such units are shown to be individuals in the context of the given interpretation. One of these interpretations is argued, by examples, not always to have an unambiguously correct answer. An alternative approach to this question is sketched.
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  18.  5
    Harmon R. Holcomb Iii (1986). Causes, Ends, and the Units of Selection. Philosophy Research Archives 12:519-539.
    This paper inquires into the very possibility of the units of selection debate’s origin in the problem of altruism, function in articulating the evolutionary synthesis, and philosophical status as a problem in clarifying what makes something a level or unit of selection. What makes the debate possible? In terms of origins, there are a number of logically possible ways to deviate from the model of Darwinian individual selection to explain evolved traits. In terms of function, adherence (...)
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  19.  20
    Elliott Sober (1992). Screening-Off and the Units of Selection. Philosophy of Science 59 (1):142-152.
    Brandon ([1982] 1984, 1990) has argued that Salmon's (1971) concept of screening-off can be used to characterize (i) the idea that natural selection acts directly on an organism's phenotype, only indirectly on its genotype, and (ii) the biological problem of the levels of selection. Brandon also suggests (iii) that screening-off events in a causal chain are better explanations than the events they screen off. This paper critically evaluates Brandon's proposals.
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  20.  25
    Sahotra Sarkar (2008). A Note on Frequency Dependence and the Levels/Units of Selection. Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):217-228.
    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 (...) 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. (shrink)
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  21.  45
    Elisabeth A. Lloyd (2000). Groups on Groups: Some Dynamics and Possible Resolution of the Units of Selection Debates in Evolutionary Biology. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 15 (3):389-401.
    David Hull's analysis of conceptual change in science, as presentedin his book, Science as a Process (1988), provides a useful framework for understanding one of the scientific controversies in which he actively and constructively intervened, the units of selectiondebates in evolutionary biology. What follows is a brief overview ofthose debates and some reflections on them.
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  22.  20
    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.
    Developing a definition of group selection, and applying that definition to the dispute in the social sciences between methodological holists and methodological individualists, are the two goals of this paper. The definition proposed distinguishes between changes in groups that are due to group selection and changes in groups that are artefacts of selection processes occurring at lower levels of organization. It also explains why the existence of group selection is not implied by the mere fact that (...)
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  23.  9
    P. Kyle Stanford (2001). The Units of Selection and the Causal Structure of the World. Erkenntnis 54 (2):215-233.
    Genic selectionism holds that all selection can be understood as operating on particular genes. Critics (and conventional biological wisdom) insist that this misrepresents the actual causal structure of selective phenomena at higher levels of biological organization, but cannot convincingly defend this intuition. I argue that the real failing of genic selectionism is pragmatic – it prevents us from adopting the most efficient corpus of causal laws for predicting and intervening in the course of affairs – and I offer a (...)
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  24. Elliott Sober (1987). Parsimony and the Units of Selection. In Nancy J. Nersessian (ed.), The Process of Science: Contemporary Philosophical Approaches to Understanding Scientific Practice. Distributors for the United States and Canada, Kluwer Academic Publishers
     
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  25.  16
    Carlos Santana & Michael Weisberg (2014). Group-Level Traits Are Not Units of Selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (3):271-272.
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  26.  3
    William Yaworsky, Mark Horowitz & Kenneth Kickham (2015). Gender and Politics Among Anthropologists in the Units of Selection Debate. Biological Theory 10 (2):145-155.
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  27.  2
    R. Holcomb Harmon Iii (2010). Causes, Ends, and the Units of Selection. Philosophy Research Archives 12:519-539.
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  28. F. J. Odling-Smee & H. C. Plotkin (1981). Units “of” Selection: The End of “Of”? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 4 (2):295.
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  29. K. M. O'Craven, P. E. Downing & N. Kanwisher (1999). fMRI Evidence for Objects as the Units of Attentional Selection. Nature 401 (6753):584-587.
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  30.  51
    John Damuth & I. Lorraine Heisler (1988). Alternative Formulations of Multilevel Selection. Biology and Philosophy 3 (4):407-430.
    Hierarchical expansions of the theory of natural selection exist in two distinct bodies of thought in evolutionary biology, the group selection and the species selection traditions. Both traditions share the point of view that the principles of natural selection apply at levels of biological organization above the level of the individual organism. This leads them both to considermultilevel selection situations, where selection is occurring simultaneously at more than one level. Impeding unification of the theoretical (...)
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  31.  21
    Michael Anthony Istvan (2013). Gould Talking Past Dawkins on the Unit of Selection Issue. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 44 (3):327-335.
    My general aim is to clarify the foundational difference between Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins concerning what biological entities are the units of selection in the process of evolution by natural selection. First, I recapitulate Gould’s central objection to Dawkins’s view that genes are the exclusive units of selection. According to Gould, it is absurd for Dawkins to think that genes are the exclusive units of selection when, after all, genes are not (...)
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  32.  10
    Deborah E. Shelton & Richard E. Michod (2014). Levels of Selection and the Formal Darwinism Project. Biology and Philosophy 29 (2):217-224.
    Understanding good design requires addressing the question of what units undergo natural selection, thereby becoming adapted. There is, therefore, a natural connection between the formal Darwinism project (which aims to connect population genetics with the evolution of design and fitness maximization) and levels of selection issues. We argue that the formal Darwinism project offers contradictory and confusing lines of thinking concerning level(s) of selection. The project favors multicellular organisms over both the lower (cell) and higher (social (...)
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  33.  37
    Samir Okasha (2004). The “Averaging Fallacy” and the Levels of Selection. Biology and Philosophy 19 (2):167-184.
    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 (...)
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  34.  21
    Alejandro Rosas (2009). Levels of Selection in Synergy. Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 28 (2):135-150.
    Individual and group selection are usually conceived as opposed evolutionary processes. Though cases of synergy are occasionally recognized, the evolutionary importance of synergy is largely ignored. However, synergy is the plausible explanation for the evolution of collectives as higher level individuals i.e., collectives acting as adaptive units, e.g., genomes and colonies of social insects. It rests on the suppression of the predictable tendency of evolutionary units to benefit at the expense of other units or of the (...)
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  35. 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.
    Two controversies exist regarding the appropriate characterization of hierarchical and adaptive evolution in natural populations. In biology, there is the Wright-Fisher controversy over the relative roles of random genetic drift, natural selection, population structure, and interdemic selection in adaptive evolution begun by Sewall Wright and Ronald Aylmer Fisher. There is also the Units of Selection debate, spanning both the biological and the philosophical literature and including the impassioned group-selection debate. Why do these two discourses exist (...)
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  36.  29
    C. Kenneth Waters (1991). Tempered Realism About the Force of Selection. Philosophy of Science 58 (4):553-573.
    Darwinians are realists about the force of selection, but there has been surprisingly little discussion about what form this realism should take. Arguments about the units of selection in general and genic selectionism in particular reveal two realist assumptions: (1) for any selection process, there is a uniquely correct identification of the operative selective forces and the level at which each impinges; and (2) selective forces must satisfy the Pareto-style requirement of probabilistic causation. I argue that (...)
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  37.  18
    Ron McClamrock (1995). Screening-Off and the Levels of Selection. Erkenntnis 42 (1):107 - 112.
    In The Levels of Selection (Brandon, 1984), Robert Brandon provides a suggestive but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to use the probabilistic notion ofscreening off in providing a schema for dealing with an aspect of the units of selection question in the philosophy of biology. I characterize that failure, and suggest a revision and expansion of Brandon's account which addresses its key shortcoming.
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  38. Tomislav Bracanovic (2002). The Referee's Dilemma. The Ethics of Scientific Communities and Game Theory. Prolegomena 1 (1):55-74.
    This article argues that various deviations from the basic principles of the scientific ethos – primarily the appearance of pseudoscience in scientific communities – can be formulated and explained using specific models of game theory, such as the prisoner’s dilemma and the iterated prisoner’s dilemma. The article indirectly tackles the deontology of scientific work as well, in which it is assumed that there is no room for moral skepticism, let alone moral anti-realism, in the ethics of scientific communities. Namely, on (...)
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  39. Denis M. Walsh, Andre Ariew & Tim Lewens (2002). The Trials of Life: Natural Selection and Random Drift. Philosophy of Science 69 (3):452-473.
    We distinguish dynamical and statistical interpretations of evolutionary theory. We argue that only the statistical interpretation preserves the presumed relation between natural selection and drift. On these grounds we claim that the dynamical conception of evolutionary theory as a theory of forces is mistaken. Selection and drift are not forces. Nor do selection and drift explanations appeal to the (sub-population-level) causes of population level change. Instead they explain by appeal to the statistical structure of populations. We briefly (...)
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  40.  34
    Robert N. Brandon & H. Frederik Nijhout (2006). The Empirical Nonequivalence of Genic and Genotypic Models of Selection: A (Decisive) Refutation of Genic Selectionism and Pluralistic Genic Selectionism. Philosophy of Science 73 (3):277-297.
    Genic selectionists (Williams 1966; Dawkins 1976) defend the view that genes are the (unique) units of selection and that all evolutionary events can be adequately represented at the genic level. Pluralistic genic selectionists (Sterelny and Kitcher 1988; Waters 1991; Dawkins 1982) defend the weaker view that in many cases there are multiple equally adequate accounts of evolutionary events, but that always among the set of equally adequate representations will be one at the genic level. We describe a range (...)
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  41.  33
    Robert A. Wilson (2003). Pluralism, Entwinement, and the Levels of Selection. Philosophy of Science 70 (3):531-552.
    This paper distinguishes and critiques several forms of pluralism about the levels of selection, and introduces a novel way of thinking about the biological properties and processes typically conceptualized in terms of distinct levels. In particular, "levels" should be thought of as being entwined or fused. Since the pluralism discussed is held by divergent theorists, the argument has implications for many positions in the debate over the units of selection. And since the key points on which the (...)
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  42.  22
    Robert Brandon (1982). The Levels of Selection. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:315 - 323.
    In this paper Wimsatt's analysis of units of selection is taken as defining the units of selection question. A definition of levels of selection is offered and it is shown that the levels of selection question is quite different from the units of selection question. Some of the relations between units and levels are briefly explored. It is argued that the levels of selection question is the question relevant to explanatory (...)
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  43.  2
    Peter Godfrey-Smith & Richard Lewontin (1993). The Dimensions of Selection. Philosophy of Science 60 (3):373-395.
    Proponents of genic selectionism have claimed that evolutionary processes normally viewed as selection on individuals can be "represented" as selection on alleles. This paper discusses the relationship between mathematical questions about the formal requirements upon state spaces necessary for the representation of different types of evolutionary processes and causal questions about the units of selection in such processes.
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  44.  17
    Mariam Thalos (1999). Units of Decision. Philosophy of Science 66 (3):338.
    I shall introduce the units 0f decision problem in thc theory of decision, which as I shall explain is 21 sibling t0 thc units 0f selection problem in cvolutionary thcory. And I shall present an argument to thc cffcct that, contrary to Bayesian wisdom on the subject, undertaking decision in group settings (in multi-individual units) violates no precepts of rationality.
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  45.  16
    Samir Okasha (2003). Does the Concept of “Clade Selection” Make Sense? Philosophy of Science 70 (4):739-751.
    The idea that clades might be units of selection, defended by a number of biologists and philosophers of biology, is critically examined. I argue that only entities which reproduce, i.e. leave offspring, can be units of selection, and that a necessary condition of reproduction is that the offspring entity be able, in principle, to outlive its parental entity. Given that clades are monophlyetic by definition, it follows that clades do not reproduce, so it makes no sense (...)
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  46.  61
    Samir Okasha (2011). Précis of Evolution and the Levels of Selection. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):212-220.
    The ‘levels of selection’ question is one of the most fundamental in evolutionary biology, for it arises directly from the logic of Darwinism. As is well-known, the principle of natural selection is entirely abstract; it says that any entities satisfying certain conditions will evolve by natural selection, whatever those entities are. (These conditions are: variability, associated fitness differences, and heritability (cf. Lewontin 1970).) This fact, when combined with the fact that the biological world is hierarchically structured, i.e. (...)
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  47.  55
    Anya Plutynski (2010). Review of Godfrey-Smith's Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection. [REVIEW] Philosophical Books 51 (2):83-101.
    Natural selection is an extremely powerful process – so powerful, in fact, that it is often tempting to deploy it in explaining phenomena as wide-ranging as the persistence of blue eyes, the origins or persistence of religious belief, or, the history of science. One long-standing debate among both critics and advocates of Darwin’s concerns the scope of Darwinian explanations, and how we are to draw the line. Peter Godfrey-Smith’s Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection is a detailed examination of (...)
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  48.  20
    Willem de Winter (1997). The Beanbag Genetics Controversy: Towards a Synthesis of Opposing Views of Natural Selection. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 12 (2):149-184.
    The beanbag genetics controversy can be traced from the dispute between Fisher and Wright, through Mayr''s influential promotion of the issue, to the contemporary units of selection debate. It centers on the claim that genic models of natural selection break down in the face of epistatic interactions among genes during phenotypic development. This claim is explored from both a conceptual and a quantitative point of view, and is shown to be defective on both counts.Firstly, an analysis of (...)
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  49.  5
    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.
    It is shown that, for technical reasons, the additivity of variance criterion employed by Lloyd (1988) to define a unit of selection is, in almost all models of selection, inconsistent with the possibility that genes are sometimes not the unit of selection. A case when the latter view is particularly attractive is that of heterosis, and the additivity criterion is inadequate in even such an extreme case. The connection between that criterion and the so-called "fundamental theorem of (...)
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  50.  5
    Elisabeth A. Lloyd (1986). Evaluation of Evidence in Group Selection Debates. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:483 - 493.
    I address the controversy in evolutionary biology concerning which levels of biological entity (units) can and do undergo natural selection. I refine a definition of the unit of selection, first presented by William Wimsatt, that is grounded in the structure of natural selection models. I examine Elliott Sober's objection to this structural definition, the "homogeneous populations" problem; I find that neither the proposed definition nor Sober's own causal account can solve the problem. Sober, in his solution (...)
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