Philosophy of Science 49 (2):157-180 (1982)

Elliott Sober
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Several evolutionary biologists have used a parsimony argument to argue that the single gene is the unit of selection. Since all evolution by natural selection can be represented in terms of selection coefficients attaching to single genes, it is, they say, "more parsimonious" to think that all selection is selection for or against single genes. We examine the limitations of this genic point of view, and then relate our criticisms to a broader view of the role of causal concepts and the dangers of reification in science
Keywords Biology   Philosophy of Science   Causation   Levels of Selection
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DOI 10.1086/289047
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