Hamilton’s Two Conceptions of Social Fitness

Philosophy of Science 83 (5):848-860 (2016)
Authors
Jonathan Birch
London School of Economics
Abstract
Hamilton introduced two conceptions of social fitness, which he called neighbour-modulated fitness and inclusive fitness. Although he regarded them as formally equivalent, a re-analysis of his own argument for their equivalence brings out two important assumptions on which it rests: weak additivity and actor's control. When weak additivity breaks down, neither fitness concept is appropriate in its original form. When actor's control breaks down, neighbour-modulated fitness may be appropriate, but inclusive fitness is not. Yet I argue that, despite its more limited domain of application, inclusive fitness provides a distinctively valuable perspective on social evolution.
Keywords inclusive fitness  kin selection  social evolution  cooperation  altruism
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1086/687869
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