Synthese 192 (1):305-316 (2015)

Authors
Eugene Earnshaw
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology
Abstract
Multi-level selection can be understood via the Price equation or contextual analysis, which offer incompatible statistical decompositions of evolutionary change into components of group and individual selection. Okasha argued that each approach suffers from problem cases. I introduce further problem cases for the Price approach, arguing that it is appropriate for MLS 2 group selection but not MLS 1. I also show that the problem cases Okasha raises for contextual analysis can be resolved. For some such cases, however, it emerges that there is no determinate answer to the question of how much of the total selective effect was due to group selection compared to individual selection. This suggests that when there is interaction between the effect of group character and individual character, one cannot separate selection into distinct ‘levels’ at all
Keywords Philosophy of biology  Levels of selection  Group selection  Altruism  Contextual analysis  Price equation
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-014-0569-0
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References found in this work BETA

Evolution and the Levels of Selection.Samir Okasha - 2006 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Units and Levels of Selection.Elisabeth Lloyd - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Explanatory Goals and Explanatory Means in Multilevel Selection Theory.Ciprian Jeler - 2020 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 42 (3):1-24.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

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