Is there such a thing as “group selection” in the contextual analysis framework?

History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 36 (4):484-502 (2015)
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Abstract

This paper argues that the contextual approach to natural selection does not offer an estimation of the contributions of individual and group selection to evolutionary change in multi-level selection scenarios, and that this is so because the term “group selection”, as defined by the contextual approach, does not refer to a process taking place at the group level. In the contextual analysis framework, this term simply denotes an evolutionary change that takes place due to the fact that, overall, individual types do not share similar contexts or environments, and the only way to claim that such an evolutionary change is a result of selection is by admitting that “group selection” is in fact a kind of frequency-dependent selection, i.e. a selection process taking place at the individual level. Therefore, under the names “individual selection” and “group selection”, the contextual approach actually isolates two aspects of the relation between individual types and their environment, and not two distinct levels of selection.

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Ciprian Jeler
Al.I.Cuza Iasi University of Iasi

References found in this work

Evolution and the Levels of Selection.Samir Okasha - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
Evolution and the Levels of Selection.Samir Okasha - 2009 - Critica 41 (123):162-170.
Reply to Sober and Waters. [REVIEW]Samir Okasha - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):241-248.
Multi-Level Selection, Covariance and Contextual Analysis.Samir Okasha - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (3):481-504.
Altruism, Group Selection and Correlated Interaction.Samir Okasha - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):703-725.

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