Bivalent Selection and Graded Darwinian Individuality

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (1):axz026 (2019)
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Philosophers are approaching a consensus that biological individuality, including evolutionary individuality, comes in degrees. Graded evolutionary individuality presents a puzzle when juxtaposed with another widely embraced view: that evolutionary individuality follows from being a selectable member of a Darwinian population. Population membership is, on the orthodox view, a bivalent condition, so how can members of Darwinian populations vary in their degree of individuality? This article offers a solution to the puzzle, by locating difference in degree of evolutionary individuality at the level of population lineages, some of which are more Darwinian than others. In doing so, it sheds light on graded individuality in overlapping and nested population lineages, such as those that arise in multilevel selection and symbiotic collectives.

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Daniel Molter
University of Utah

References found in this work

Individuality and Selection.David L. Hull - 1980 - Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 11:311-332.
The Many Faces of Biological Individuality.Thomas Pradeu - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (6):761-773.
Population Pluralism and Natural Selection.Jacob Stegenga - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-29.
Populations as Individuals.Roberta L. Millstein - 2009 - Biological Theory 4 (3):267-273.

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