Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):363-380 (2012)

Authors
Jonathan Birch
London School of Economics
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
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10539-012-9312-8
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

References found in this work BETA

The Ethical Project.Philip Kitcher - 2011 - Harvard University Press.
The Major Transitions in Evolution.John Maynard Smith & Eors Szathmary - 1996 - Journal of the History of Biology 29 (1):151-152.
Plant Individuality and Multilevel Selection Theory.Ellen Clarke - 2011 - In Kim Sterelny & Brett Calcott (eds.), The Major Transitions Revisited. MIT Press. pp. 227--250.
Collective Action.Russell Hardin - 1984 - Ethics 94 (2):336-339.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Hamilton’s Two Conceptions of Social Fitness.Jonathan Birch - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):848-860.
How Cooperation Became the Norm. [REVIEW]Jonathan Birch - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (3):433-444.
Kin Selection: A Philosophical Analysis.Jonathan Birch - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Cambridge
Blind Cooperation: The Evolution of Redundancy Via Ignorance.Makmiller Pedroso - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz022.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Social Revolution. [REVIEW]Jonathan Birch - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (4):571-581.
Transitions and Social Evolution.Eörs Szathmáry - 2012 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 4 (20130604).
Multilevel Selection and the Major Transitions in Evolution.Samir Okasha - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1013-1025.
The Transition to Civilization and Symbolically Stored Genomes.Jon Beach - 2003 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 34 (1):109-141.
Explaining the Emergence of Cooperative Phenomena.Chuang Liu - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):106.
Gestalt-Switching and the Evolutionary Transitions.P. Godfrey-Smith & B. Kerr - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):205-222.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-02-09

Total views
128 ( #71,194 of 2,343,715 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
14 ( #44,633 of 2,343,715 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes