Collective Action in the Fraternal Transitions

Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):363-380 (2012)
Abstract
Inclusive fitness theory was not originally designed to explain the major transitions in evolution, but there is a growing consensus that it has the resources to do so. My aim in this paper is to highlight, in a constructive spirit, the puzzles and challenges that remain. I first consider the distinctive aspects of the cooperative interactions we see within the most complex social groups in nature: multicellular organisms and eusocial insect colonies. I then focus on one aspect in particular: the extreme redundancy these societies exhibit. I argue that extreme redundancy poses a distinctive explanatory puzzle for inclusive fitness theory, and I offer a potential solution which casts coercion as the key enabler. I suggest that the general moral to draw from the case is one of guarded optimism: while inclusive fitness is a powerful tool for understanding evolutionary transitions, it must be integrated within a broader framework that recognizes the distinctive problems such transitions present and the distinctive mechanisms by which these problems may be overcome
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-012-9312-8
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References found in this work BETA
The Major Transitions in Evolution.John Maynard Smith & Eors Szathmary - 1996 - Journal of the History of Biology 29 (1):151-152.
Collective Action.Russell Hardin - 1984 - Ethics 94 (2):336-339.
The Other Cooperation Problem: Generating Benefit.Brett Calcott - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):179-203.

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Citations of this work BETA
How Cooperation Became the Norm. [REVIEW]Jonathan Birch - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (3):433-444.

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