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  1. Scaffolding Natural Selection.Walter Veit - 2022 - Biological Theory 17 (2):163-180.
    Darwin provided us with a powerful theoretical framework to explain the evolution of living systems. Natural selection alone, however, has sometimes been seen as insufficient to explain the emergence of new levels of selection. The problem is one of “circularity” for evolutionary explanations: how to explain the origins of Darwinian properties without already invoking their presence at the level they emerge. That is, how does evolution by natural selection commence in the first place? Recent results in experimental evolution suggest a (...)
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  • Holobionts as Units of Selection and a Model of Their Population Dynamics and Evolution.Joan Roughgarden, Scott F. Gilbert, Eugene Rosenberg, Ilana Zilber-Rosenberg & Elisabeth A. Lloyd - 2018 - Biological Theory 13 (1):44-65.
    Holobionts, consisting of a host and diverse microbial symbionts, function as distinct biological entities anatomically, metabolically, immunologically, and developmentally. Symbionts can be transmitted from parent to offspring by a variety of vertical and horizontal methods. Holobionts can be considered levels of selection in evolution because they are well-defined interactors, replicators/reproducers, and manifestors of adaptation. An initial mathematical model is presented to help understand how holobionts evolve. The model offered combines the processes of horizontal symbiont transfer, within-host symbiont proliferation, vertical symbiont (...)
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  • Diagnosing errors in climate model intercomparisons.Ryan O’Loughlin - 2023 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 13 (2):1-29.
    I examine error diagnosis (model-model disagreement) in climate model intercomparisons including its difficulties, fruitful examples, and prospects for streamlining error diagnosis. I suggest that features of climate model intercomparisons pose a more significant challenge for error diagnosis than do features of individual model construction and complexity. Such features of intercomparisons include, e.g., the number of models involved, how models from different institutions interrelate, and what scientists know about each model. By considering numerous examples in the climate modeling literature, I distill (...)
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  • Theory is as Theory Does: Scientific Practice and Theory Structure in Biology.Alan C. Love - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (4):325-337, 430.
    Using the context of controversies surrounding evolutionary developmental biology (EvoDevo) and the possibility of an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, I provide an account of theory structure as idealized theory presentations that are always incomplete (partial) and shaped by their conceptual content (material rather than formal organization). These two characteristics are salient because the goals that organize and regulate scientific practice, including the activity of using a theory, are heterogeneous. This means that the same theory can be structured differently, in part because (...)
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  • Kinds of process and the levels of selection.Benjamin C. Jantzen - 2019 - Synthese 196 (6):2407-2433.
    Most attempts to answer the question of whether populations of groups can undergo natural selection focus on properties of the groups themselves rather than the dynamics of the population of groups. Those approaches to group selection that do emphasize dynamics lack an account of the relevant notion of equivalent dynamics. I show that the theory of ‘dynamical kinds’ I proposed in Jantzen :3617–3646, 2014) can be used as a framework for assessing dynamical equivalence. That theory is based upon the notion (...)
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  • Major and minor groups in evolution.Peter Gildenhuys - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (1):1-32.
    Kerr and Godfrey-Smith argue that two mathematically equivalent, alternative formal representations drawn from population genetics, the contextualist and collectivist formalisms, may be equally good for quantifying the dynamics of some natural systems, despite important differences between the formalisms. I draw on constraints on causal representation from Woodward (Making things happen, Oxford University Press, New York, 2003) and Eberhardt and Scheines (Philos Sci 74(5):981–995, 2006) to argue that one or the other formalism will be superior for arbitrary natural systems in which (...)
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  • Classical population genetics and the semantic approach to scientific theories.Peter Gildenhuys - 2013 - Synthese 190 (2):273-291.
    In what follows, I argue that the semantic approach to scientific theories fails as a means to present the Wright—Fisher formalism (WFF) of population genetics. I offer an account of what population geneticist understand insofar as they understand the WFF, a variation on Lloyd's view that population genetics can be understood as a family of models of mid-level generality.
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  • Moving past the levels of selection debates: review of Samir Okasha’s Evolution and the Levels of Selection: Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2006. [REVIEW]Stephen M. Downes - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):417-423.
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  • Moving past the levels of selection debates: Samir Okasha, Evolution and the levels of selection, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006.Stephen M. Downes - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (5):703-709.
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  • Moving Past Conventionalism About Multilevel Selection.Pierrick Bourrat - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-14.
    The formalism used to describe evolutionary change in a multilevel setting can be used equally to re-describe the situation as one where all the selection occurs at the individual level. Thus, whether multilevel or individual-level selection occurs seems to be a matter of convention rather than fact. Yet, group selection is regarded by some as an important concept with factual rather than conventional elements. I flesh out an alternative position that regards groups as a target of selection in a way (...)
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