The natures of selection

Abstract
Elliott Sober and his defenders think of selection, drift, mutation, and migration as distinct evolutionary forces. This paper exposes an ambiguity in Sober's account of the force of selection: sometimes he appears to equate the force of selection with variation in fitness, sometimes with ‘selection for properties’. Sober's own account of fitness as a property analogous to life-expectancy shows how the two conceptions come apart. Cases where there is selection against variance in offspring number also show that selection and drift cannot be distinguished in the way Sober hopes for. These issues have significance beyond the parochial matter of the coherence of Sober's system. There is no good principled answer to the question of which features of a population should count among the contributors to fitness. This means there is no non-arbitrary account of the nature of selection
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axp041
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References found in this work BETA
Manipulation and the Causes of Evolution.Kenneth Reisman & Patrick Forber - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1113-1123.
The Principle of Drift: Biology's First Law.Robert N. Brandon - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (7):319-335.

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Citations of this work BETA
A New Foundation for the Propensity Interpretation of Fitness.Charles H. Pence & Grant Ramsey - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):851-881.
Population Pluralism and Natural Selection.Jacob Stegenga - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (1):axu003.
Population Pluralism and Natural Selection.Jacob Stegenga - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-29.

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Similar books and articles
Holism, Individualism, and the Units of Selection.Elliott Sober - 1980 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:93 - 121.
Sober's Use of Unanimity in the Units of Selection Problem.Fred Gifford - 1986 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:473 - 482.
The Evolution of Altruism: The Sober/Wilson Model.Peter Gildenhuys - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (1):27-48.
The Units of Selection and the Bases of Selection.David Walton - 1991 - Philosophy of Science 58 (3):417-435.

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