The Selection of Alleles and the Additivity of Variance

PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:3 - 12 (1994)
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Abstract

It is shown that, for technical reasons, the additivity of variance criterion employed by Lloyd (1988) to define a unit of selection is, in almost all models of selection, inconsistent with the possibility that genes are sometimes not the unit of selection. A case when the latter view is particularly attractive is that of heterosis, and the additivity criterion is inadequate in even such an extreme case. The connection between that criterion and the so-called "fundamental theorem of natural selection" is briefly explored. Skepticism is expressed about the value of measures such as variance in efforts to resolve any of the disputes about the "units of selection.".

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Sahotra Sarkar
University of Texas at Austin

Citations of this work

Facts, Conventions, and the Levels of Selection.Pierrick Bourrat - 2021 - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Units and levels of selection.Elisabeth Lloyd - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Why the Gene will not return.Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (2):287-310.
Generalizing Contextual Analysis.Pierrick Bourrat - 2016 - Acta Biotheoretica 64 (2):197-217.

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