Generalizing Contextual Analysis

Acta Biotheoretica 64 (2):197-217 (2016)

Authors
Pierrick Bourrat
Macquarie University
Abstract
Okasha, in Evolution and the Levels of Selection, convincingly argues that two rival statistical decompositions of covariance, namely contextual analysis and the neighbour approach, are better causal decompositions than the hierarchical Price approach. However, he claims that this result cannot be generalized in the special case of soft selection and argues that the Price approach represents in this case a better option. He provides several arguments to substantiate this claim. In this paper, I demonstrate that these arguments are flawed and argue that neither the Price equation nor the contextual and neighbour partitionings sensu Okasha are adequate causal decompositions in cases of soft selection. The Price partitioning is generally unable to detect cross-level by-products and this naturally also applies to soft selection. Both contextual and neighbour partitionings violate the fundamental principle of determinism that the same cause always produces the same effect. I argue that a fourth partitioning widely used in the contemporary social sciences, under the generic term of ‘hierarchical linear model’ and related to contextual analysis understood broadly, addresses the shortcomings of the three other partitionings and thus represents a better causal decomposition. I then defend this model against the argument that because it predicts that there is some organismal selection in some specific cases of segregation distortion then it should be rejected. I show that cases of segregation distortion that intuitively seem to contradict the conclusion drawn from the hierarchical linear model are in fact cases of multilevel selection 2 while the assessment of the different partitionings are restricted to multilevel selection 1.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10441-016-9280-5
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 43,694
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

Evolution and the Levels of Selection.Samir Okasha - 2009 - Critica 41 (123):162-170.
Genetics and Reductionism.Sahotra Sarkar - 2000 - Philosophical Quarterly 50 (198):128-130.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Is There Such a Thing as “Group Selection” in the Contextual Analysis Framework?Ciprian Jeler - 2015 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 36 (4):484-502.
Generalizing Brains in Vats.B. Weiss - 2000 - Analysis 60 (1):112-123.
An Experimental in Generalizing: A Unicursal Problem.J. L. Graham - 1938 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 23 (1):96.
Serotonin, Dopamine, and Cooperation.Daniel John Zizzo - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (3):370-370.
Generalizing Brains in Vats.Bernhard Weiss - 2000 - Analysis 60 (1):112–123.
Multi-Level Selection, Covariance and Contextual Analysis.Samir Okasha - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (3):481-504.
The Chrysippus Intuition and Contextual Theories of Truth.Jay Newhard - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 142 (3):345-352.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-06-30

Total views
11 ( #685,665 of 2,264,506 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #612,816 of 2,264,506 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature