Realism, Conventionalism, and Causal Decomposition in Units of Selection: Reflections on Samir Okasha’s Evolution and the Levels of Selection

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):221-231 (2010)
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Abstract

I discuss two subjects in Samir Okasha’s excellent book, Evolution and the Levels of Selection. In consonance with Okasha’s critique of the conventionalist view of the units of selection problem, I argue that conventionalists have not attended to what realists mean by group, individual, and genic selection. In connection with Okasha’s discussion of the Price equation and contextual analysis, I discuss whether the existence of these two quantitative frameworks is a challenge to realism.

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2010-12-30

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Elliott Sober
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Citations of this work

The Problem of Biological Individuality.Ellen Clarke - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (4):312-325.
Population Pluralism and Natural Selection.Jacob Stegenga - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-29.
The Relation between Kin and Multilevel Selection: An Approach Using Causal Graphs.Samir Okasha - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):435-470.
Population Pluralism and Natural Selection.Jacob Stegenga - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (1):axu003.

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