Shifting the Natural Selection Metaphor to the Group Level

Behavior and Philosophy 28 (1/2):83 - 101 (2000)
Group selection is said to occur when the traits of groups that systematically out-reproduce competing groups eventually come to characterize the species. Evolutionists have long disputed over the degree to which group selection is effective—that is, over the degree to which social group characteristics can be attributed to selection on these characteristics. The intractability of this controversy arises from three ambiguities in the natural selection metaphor that manifest themselves when that metaphor is shifted to the group level: (1) uncertainty about what constitutes the analogue for "flock" in the group level metaphor; (2) uncertainty about how to identify the group "parents" of offspring groups; and (3) uncertainty about what constitutes a group trait for the purposes of group selection. When group selection is specified as a theory about the evolution of emergent properties of groups through differential group productivity mediated by quantitative inheritance of group traits, these ambiguities disappear.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 31,385
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Why Won't the Group Selection Controversy Go Away?Samir Okasha - 2001 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (1):25-50.
Models of Group Selection.Deborah G. Mayo & Norman L. Gilinsky - 1987 - Philosophy of Science 54 (4):515-538.
Altruism, Group Selection and Correlated Interaction.Samir Okasha - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):703-725.
Niche Construction and Group Selection.Nicholas S. Thompson - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (1):161-162.
Evolutionary Ethics and Biologically Supportable Morality.Michael Byron - 1999 - Proceedings of Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, PAIDEIA: Philosophy Educating Humanity.
Multi-Level Selection, Covariance and Contextual Analysis.Samir Okasha - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (3):481-504.
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.
The Concept of Group Heritability.Samir Okasha - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (3):445-461.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
17 ( #319,861 of 2,225,984 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #426,905 of 2,225,984 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature