The gene’s-eye view, major transitions and the formal darwinism project

Biology and Philosophy 29 (2):241-248 (2014)
I argue that Grafen’s formal darwinism project could profitably incorporate a gene’s-eye view, as informed by the major transitions framework. In this, instead of the individual being assumed to maximise its inclusive fitness, genes are assumed to maximise their inclusive fitness. Maximisation of fitness at the individual level is not a straightforward concept because the major transitions framework shows that there are several kinds of biological individual. In addition, individuals have a definable fitness, exhibit individual-level adaptations and arise in a major transition, only to the extent that the inclusive-fitness interests of genes within them coincide. Therefore, as others have suggested, the fundamental level at which fitness is maximised is the gene level. Previous reconciliations of the concepts of gene-level fitness and individual-level fitness implicitly recognise this point. Adaptations always maximise the fitness of their causative genes, but may be simple or complex. Simple adaptations may be controlled by single genes and be maladaptive at higher levels, whereas complex adaptations are controlled by multiple genes and rely on those genes having coinciding fitness interests at a higher level, for a given trait
Keywords Adaptation  Formal darwinism project  Gene’s-eye view  Inclusive fitness theory  Levels of selection  Major transition
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-013-9422-y
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References found in this work BETA

Evolution and the Levels of Selection.Samir Okasha - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
The Major Transitions in Evolution.John Maynard Smith & Eors Szathmary - 1996 - Journal of the History of Biology 29 (1):151-152.
Group Adaptation, Formal Darwinism and Contextual Analysis.Samir Okasha & Cedric Paternotte - 2012 - Journal of Evolutionary Biology 25 (6):1127–1139.
The Strategic Gene.David Haig - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (4):461-479.
The Formal Darwinism Project in Outline.Alan Grafen - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (2):155-174.

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The Formal Darwinism Project in Outline.Alan Grafen - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (2):155-174.

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