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Evolution and the Levels of Selection

Critica 41 (123):162-170 (2009)

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  1. Evolution is About Populations, But Its Causes Are About Individuals.Pierrick Bourrat - forthcoming - Biological Theory:1-13.
    There is a tension between, on the one hand, the view that natural selection refers to individual-level causes, and on the other hand, the view that it refers to a population-level cause. In this article, I make the case for the individual-level cause view. I respond to recent claims made by McLoone that the individual-level cause view is inconsistent. I show that if one were to follow his arguments, any causal claim in any context would have to be regarded as (...)
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  • Were You a Part of Your Mother?Elselijn Kingma - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):609-646.
    Is the mammalian embryo/fetus a part of the organism that gestates it? According to the containment view, the fetus is not a part of, but merely contained within or surrounded by, the gestating organism. According to the parthood view, the fetus is a part of the gestating organism. This paper proceeds in two stages. First, I argue that the containment view is the received view; that it is generally assumed without good reason; and that it needs substantial support if it (...)
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  • By Genes Alone: A Model Selectionist Argument for Genetical Explanations of Cooperation in Non-Human Organisms.Armin W. Schulz - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):951-967.
    I distinguish two versions of kin selection theory—a purely genetic version and a version that also appeals to cultural forms of cooperation —and present an argument in favor of using the former when it comes to accounting for the evolution of cooperation in non-human organisms. Specifically, I first show that both GKST and WKST are equally mathematically coherent—they can both be derived from the Price equation—but not necessarily equally empirically plausible, as they are based on different assumptions about the inheritance (...)
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  • Gouldian Arguments and the Sources of Contingency.Alison K. McConwell & Adrian Currie - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (2):243-261.
    ‘Gouldian arguments’ appeal to the contingency of a scientific domain to establish that domain’s autonomy from some body of theory. For instance, pointing to evolutionary contingency, Stephen Jay Gould suggested that natural selection alone is insufficient to explain life on the macroevolutionary scale. In analysing contingency, philosophers have provided source-independent accounts, understanding how events and processes structure history without attending to the nature of those events and processes. But Gouldian Arguments require source-dependent notions of contingency. An account of contingency is (...)
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  • Mills Made of Grist, and Other Interesting Ideas in Need of Clarification.Paul E. Smaldino & Michael J. Spivey - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42.
    Heyes’ book is an important contribution that rightly integrates cognitive development and cultural evolution. However, understanding the cultural evolution of cognitive gadgets requires a deeper appreciation of complexity, feedback, and self-organization than her book exhibits.
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  • Graphical Causal Models of Social Adaptation and Hamilton’s Rule.Wes Anderson - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (5):48.
    Part of Allen et al.’s criticism of Hamilton’s rule makes sense only if we are interested in social adaptation rather than merely social selection. Under the assumption that we are interested in casually modeling social adaptation, I illustrate how graphical causal models of social adaptation can be useful for predicting evolution by adaptation. I then argue for two consequences of this approach given some of the recent philosophical literature. I argue Birch’s claim that the proper way to understand Hamilton’s rule (...)
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  • Group Selection in the Evolution of Religion: Genetic Evolution or Cultural Evolution?Taylor Davis - 2015 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 15 (3-4):235-253.
    In the scientific literature on religious evolution, two competing theories appeal to group selection to explain the relationship between religious belief and altruism, or costly, prosocial behavior. Both theories agree that group selection plays an important role in cultural evolution, affecting psychological traits that individuals acquire through social learning. They disagree, however, about whether group selection has also played a role in genetic evolution, affecting traits that are inherited genetically. Recently, Jonathan Haidt has defended the most fully developed account based (...)
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  • Kinds of Biological Individuals: Sortals, Projectibility, and Selection.DiFrisco James - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):845-875.
    Individuality is an important concept in biology, yet there are many non-equivalent criteria of individuality expressed in different kinds of biological individuals. This article evaluates these different kinds in terms of their capacity to support explanatory generalizations over the systems they individuate. Viewing the problem of individuality from this perspective promotes a splitting strategy in which different kinds make different epistemic trade-offs that suit them for different explanatory roles. I argue that evolutionary individuals, interpreted as forming a functional kind, face (...)
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  • Common Minds, Uncommon Thoughts: A Philosophical Anthropological Investigation of Uniquely Human Creative Behavior, with an Emphasis on Artistic Ability, Religious Reflection, and Scientific Study.Johan De Smedt - unknown
    The aim of this dissertation is to create a naturalistic philosophical picture of creative capacities that are specific to our species, focusing on artistic ability, religious reflection, and scientific study. By integrating data from diverse domains within a philosophical anthropological framework, I have presented a cognitive and evolutionary approach to the question of why humans, but not other animals engage in such activities. Through an application of cognitive and evolutionary perspectives to the study of these behaviors, I have sought to (...)
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  • A Trilemma for Teleological Individualism.John Basl - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4).
    This paper addresses the foundations of Teleological Individualism, the view that organisms, even non-sentient organisms, are goal-oriented systems while biological collectives, such as ecosystems or conspecific groups, are mere assemblages of organisms. Typical defenses of Teleological Individualism ground the teleological organization of organisms in the workings of natural selection. This paper shows that grounding teleological organization in natural selection is antithetical to Teleological Individualism because such views assume a view about the units of selection on which it is only individual (...)
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  • Transitions in Evolution: A Formal Analysis.Pierrick Bourrat - forthcoming - Synthese.
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  • Is There an Empirical Disagreement Between Genic and Genotypic Selection Models? A Response to Brandon and Nijhout.Naftali Weinberger - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (2):225-237.
    In a recent paper, Brandon and Nijhout argue against genic selectionism—the thesis, roughly, that evolutionary processes are best understood from the gene’s-eye point of view—by presenting a case in which genic models of selection allegedly make predictions that conflict with the (correct) predictions of higher-level genotypic selection models. Their argument, if successful, would refute the widely held belief that genic models and higher-level models are predictively equivalent. Here, I argue that Brandon and Nijhout fail to demonstrate that the models make (...)
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  • Pluralism in Evolutionary Controversies: Styles and Averaging Strategies in Hierarchical Selection Theories.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Michael J. Wade & Christopher C. Dimond - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (6):957-979.
    Two controversies exist regarding the appropriate characterization of hierarchical and adaptive evolution in natural populations. In biology, there is the Wright-Fisher controversy over the relative roles of random genetic drift, natural selection, population structure, and interdemic selection in adaptive evolution begun by Sewall Wright and Ronald Aylmer Fisher. There is also the Units of Selection debate, spanning both the biological and the philosophical literature and including the impassioned group-selection debate. Why do these two discourses exist separately, and interact relatively little? (...)
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  • Human Evolution and Transitions in Individuality.Paulo C. Abrantes - 2013 - Contrastes: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 28:203-220.
    This paper investigates whether it is fruitful to describe the role culture began to play at some point in the Hominin lineage as pointing to a transition in individuality, by reference to the works of Buss, Maynard-Smith and Szathmáry, Michod and Godfrey-Smith. The chief question addressed is whether a population of groups having different cultural phenotypes is either paradigmatically Darwinian or marginal, by using Godfrey-Smith's representation of such transitions in a multi-dimensional space. Richerson and Boyd's «dual inheritance» theory, and the (...)
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  • Making the Most of Clade Selection.W. Ford Doolittle - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):275-295.
    Clade selection is unpopular with philosophers who otherwise accept multilevel selection theory. Clades cannot reproduce, and reproduction is widely thought necessary for evolution by natural selection, especially of complex adaptations. Using microbial evolutionary processes as heuristics, I argue contrariwise, that (1) clade growth (proliferation of contained species) substitutes for clade reproduction in the evolution of complex adaptation, (2) clade-level properties favoring persistence – species richness, dispersal, divergence, and possibly intraclade cooperation – are not collapsible into species-level traits, (3) such properties (...)
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  • Population Pluralism and Natural Selection.Jacob Stegenga - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-29.
    I defend a radical interpretation of biological populations—what I call population pluralism—which holds that there are many ways that a particular grouping of individuals can be related such that the grouping satisfies the conditions necessary for those individuals to evolve together. More constraining accounts of biological populations face empirical counter-examples and conceptual difficulties. One of the most intuitive and frequently employed conditions, causal connectivity—itself beset with numerous difficulties—is best construed by considering the relevant causal relations as ‘thick’ causal concepts. I (...)
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  • Modern Synthesis is the Light of Microbial Genomics.Austin Booth, Carlos Mariscal & W. Ford Doolittle - 2016 - Annual Reviews of Microbiology 70 (1):279-297.
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  • Extended Inheritance From an Organizational Point of View.Gaëlle Pontarotti - 2015 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 37 (4):430-448.
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  • Ecology, Evolution, Ethics: In Search of a Meta-Paradigm – An Introduction.Donato Bergandi - 2013 - In The Structural Links Between Ecology, Evolution and Ethics: The Virtuous Epistemic Circle. Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer. pp. 1-28.
    Evolutionary, ecological and ethical studies are, at the same time, specific scientific disciplines and, from an historical point of view, structurally linked domains of research. In a context of environmental crisis, the need is increasingly emerging for a connecting epistemological framework able to express a common or convergent tendency of thought and practice aimed at building, among other things, an environmental policy management respectful of the planet’s biodiversity and its evolutionary potential.
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  • Is ‘Assisted Reproduction’ Reproduction?Monika Piotrowska - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (270):138-157.
    With an increasing number of ways to ‘assist’ reproduction, some bioethicists have started to wonder what it takes to become a genetic parent. It is widely agreed that sharing genes is not enough to substantiate the parent–offspring relation, but what is? Without a better understanding of the concept of reproduction, our thinking about parent–offspring relations and the ethical issues surrounding them risk being unprincipled. Here, I address that problem by offering a principled account of reproduction—the Overlap, Development and Persistence account—which (...)
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  • The Origins of Life: The Managed-Metabolism Hypothesis.John E. Stewart - 2018 - Foundations of Science:1-25.
    The ‘managed-metabolism’ hypothesis suggests that a ‘cooperation barrier’ must be overcome if self-producing chemical organizations are to undergo the transition from non-life to life. This dynamical barrier prevents un-managed autocatalytic networks of molecular species from individuating into complex, cooperative organizations. The barrier arises because molecular species that could otherwise make significant cooperative contributions to the success of an organization will often not be supported within the organization, and because side reactions and other ‘free-riding’ processes will undermine cooperation. As a result, (...)
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  • The Extended (Evolutionary) Synthesis Debate: Where Science Meets Philosophy.Massimo Pigliucci & Leonard Finkelman - 2015 - BioScience 64 (6):511-516.
    Recent debates between proponents of the modern evolutionary synthesis (the standard model in evolutionary biology) and those of a possible extended synthesis are a good example of the fascinating tangle among empirical, theoretical, and conceptual or philosophical matters that is the practice of evolutionary biology. In this essay, we briefly discuss two case studies from this debate, highlighting the relevance of philosophical thinking to evolutionary biologists in the hope of spurring further constructive cross-pollination between the two fields.
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  • Hierarchy Theory of Evolution and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis: Some Epistemic Bridges, Some Conceptual Rifts.Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda & Francisco Vergara-Silva - 2018 - Evolutionary Biology 45 (2):127-139.
    Contemporary evolutionary biology comprises a plural landscape of multiple co-existent conceptual frameworks and strenuous voices that disagree on the nature and scope of evolutionary theory. Since the mid-eighties, some of these conceptual frameworks have denounced the ontologies of the Modern Synthesis and of the updated Standard Theory of Evolution as unfinished or even flawed. In this paper, we analyze and compare two of those conceptual frameworks, namely Niles Eldredge’s Hierarchy Theory of Evolution (with its extended ontology of evolutionary entities) and (...)
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  • Pathways to Pluralism About Biological Individuality.Beckett Sterner - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (5):609-628.
    What are the prospects for a monistic view of biological individuality given the multiple epistemic roles the concept must satisfy? In this paper, I examine the epistemic adequacy of two recent accounts based on the capacity to undergo natural selection. One is from Ellen Clarke, and the other is by Peter Godfrey-Smith. Clarke’s position reflects a strong monism, in that she aims to characterize individuality in purely functional terms and refrains from privileging any specific material properties as important in their (...)
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  • A Conceptual and Empirical Framework for the Social Distribution of Cognition: The Case of Memory.Amanda Barnier, John Sutton, Celia Harris & Robert A. Wilson - 2008 - Cognitive Systems Research 9 (1):33-51.
    In this paper, we aim to show that the framework of embedded, distributed, or extended cognition offers new perspectives on social cognition by applying it to one specific domain: the psychology of memory. In making our case, first we specify some key social dimensions of cognitive distribution and some basic distinctions between memory cases, and then describe stronger and weaker versions of distributed remembering in the general distributed cognition framework. Next, we examine studies of social influences on memory in cognitive (...)
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  • One Equation to Rule Them All: A Philosophical Analysis of the Price Equation.Victor Luque - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (1):97-125.
    This paper provides a philosophical analysis of the Price equation and its role in evolutionary theory. Traditional models in population genetics postulate simplifying assumptions in order to make the models mathematically tractable. On the contrary, the Price equation implies a very specific way of theorizing, starting with assumptions that we think are true and then deriving from them the mathematical rules of the system. I argue that the Price equation is a generalization-sketch, whose main purpose is to provide a unifying (...)
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  • Conditions for Evolution by Natural Selection.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (10):489-516.
    Both biologists and philosophers often make use of simple verbal formulations of necessary and sufficient conditions for evolution by natural selection (ENS). Such summaries go back to Darwin's Origin of Species (especially the "Recapitulation"), but recent ones are more compact.1 Perhaps the most commonly cited formulation is due to Lewontin.2 These summaries tend to have three or four conditions, where the core requirement is a combination of variation, heredity, and fitness differences. The summaries are employed in several ways. First, they (...)
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  • Constreñimientos, variación evolutiva y planos corporales.Maximiliano Martínez & Eugenio Andrade - 2014 - Signos Filosóficos 16 (31).
    En este artículo defendemos la necesidad de reformular los conceptos de constreñimiento del desarrollo y variación considerando trabajos empíricos y teóricos recientes, principalmente sobre genes Hox, estado filotípico y morfogénesis. Argumentamos que la noción de variación isotrópica e ilimitada asociada con las teorías darwinianas y neodarwinianas deben ser reconsideradas a la luz de los aportes recientes de la biología del desarrollo. En esta visión, la variación estaría constreñida y sesgada. Esta reforma del concepto de variación coincide con la reformulación del (...)
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  • The Inclusive Fitness Controversy: Finding a Way Forward.Jonathan Birch - 2017 - Royal Society Open Science 4:170335.
    This paper attempts to reconcile critics and defenders of inclusive fitness by constructing a synthesis that does justice to the insights of both. I argue that criticisms of the regression-based version of Hamilton’s rule, although they undermine its use for predictive purposes, do not undermine its use as an organizing framework for social evolution research. I argue that the assumptions underlying the concept of inclusive fitness, conceived as a causal property of an individual organism, are unlikely to be exactly true (...)
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  • Hamilton’s Rule and its Discontents.Jonathan Birch - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (2):381-411.
    In an incendiary 2010 Nature article, M. A. Nowak, C. E. Tarnita, and E. O. Wilson present a savage critique of the best-known and most widely used framework for the study of social evolution, W. D. Hamilton’s theory of kin selection. More than a hundred biologists have since rallied to the theory’s defence, but Nowak et al. maintain that their arguments ‘stand unrefuted’. Here I consider the most contentious claim Nowak et al. defend: that Hamilton’s rule, the core explanatory principle (...)
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  • Searching for Darwinism in Generalized Darwinism.Thomas A. C. Reydon & Markus Scholz - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):561-589.
    While evolutionary thinking is increasingly becoming popular in fields of investigation outside the biological sciences, it remains unclear how helpful it is there and whether it actually yields good explanations of the phenomena under study. Here we examine the ontology of a recent approach to applying evolutionary thinking outside biology, the generalized Darwinism approach proposed by Geoffrey Hodgson and Thorbjørn Knudsen. We examine the ontology of populations in biology and in GD, and argue that biological evolutionary theory sets ontological criteria (...)
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  • Varieties of Population Structure and the Levels of Selection.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (1):25-50.
    Group-structured populations, of the kind prominent in discussions of multilevel selection, are contrasted with ‘neighbor-structured’ populations. I argue that it is a necessary condition on multilevel description of a selection process that there should be a nonarbitrary division of the population into equivalence classes (or an approximation to this situation). The discussion is focused via comparisons between two famous problem cases involving group structure (altruism and heterozygote advantage) and two neighbor-structured cases that resemble them. Conclusions are also drawn about the (...)
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  • Multi-Level Selection and the Explanatory Value of Mathematical Decompositions.Christopher Clarke - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (4):1025-1055.
    Do multi-level selection explanations of the evolution of social traits deepen the understanding provided by single-level explanations? Central to the former is a mathematical theorem, the multi-level Price decomposition. I build a framework through which to understand the explanatory role of such non-empirical decompositions in scientific practice. Applying this general framework to the present case places two tasks on the agenda. The first task is to distinguish the various ways of suppressing within-collective variation in fitness, and moreover to evaluate their (...)
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  • Causal Foundations of Evolutionary Genetics.Jun Otsuka - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):247-269.
    The causal nature of evolution is one of the central topics in the philosophy of biology. The issue concerns whether equations used in evolutionary genetics point to some causal processes or purely phenomenological patterns. To address this question the present article builds well-defined causal models that underlie standard equations in evolutionary genetics. These models are based on minimal and biologically plausible hypotheses about selection and reproduction, and generate statistics to predict evolutionary changes. The causal reconstruction of the evolutionary principles shows (...)
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  • Fisher's Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection—a Philosophical Analysis.Samir Okasha - 2008 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (3):319-351.
    This paper provides a philosophical analysis of the ongoing controversy surrounding R.A. Fisher's famous ‘fundamental theorem’ of natural selection. The difference between the ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ interpretations of the theorem is explained. I argue that proponents of the modern interpretation have captured Fisher's intended meaning correctly and shown that the theorem is mathematically correct, pace the traditional consensus. However, whether the theorem has any real biological significance remains an unresolved issue. I argue that the answer depends on whether we accept (...)
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  • A New Foundation for the Propensity Interpretation of Fitness.Charles H. Pence & Grant Ramsey - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):851-881.
    The propensity interpretation of fitness (PIF) is commonly taken to be subject to a set of simple counterexamples. We argue that three of the most important of these are not counterexamples to the PIF itself, but only to the traditional mathematical model of this propensity: fitness as expected number of offspring. They fail to demonstrate that a new mathematical model of the PIF could not succeed where this older model fails. We then propose a new formalization of the PIF that (...)
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  • An Explication of the Causal Dimension of Drift.Peter Gildenhuys - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):521-555.
    Among philosophers, controversy over the notion of drift in population genetics is ongoing. This is at least partly because the notion of drift has an ambiguous usage among population geneticists. My goal in this paper is to explicate the causal dimension of drift, to say what causal influences are responsible for the stochasticity in population genetics models. It is commonplace for population genetics to oppose the influence of selection to that of drift, and to consider how the dynamics of populations (...)
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  • Cooperation, Culture, and Conflict.Kim Sterelny - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (1):31-58.
    In this article I develop a big picture of the evolution of human cooperation, and contrast it to an alternative based on group selection. The crucial claim is that hominin history has seen two major transitions in cooperation, and hence poses two deep puzzles about the origins and stability of cooperation. The first is the transition from great ape social lives to the lives of Pleistocene cooperative foragers; the second is the stability of the social contract through the early Holocene (...)
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  • Kin Selection, Group Selection, and the Varieties of Population Structure.Jonathan Birch - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx028.
    Various results show the ‘formal equivalence’ of kin and group selectionist methodologies, but this does not preclude there being a real and useful distinction between kin and group selection processes. I distinguish individual and population-centred approaches to drawing such a distinction, and I proceed to develop the latter. On the account I advance, the differences between kin and group selection are differences of degree in the structural properties of populations. A spatial metaphor provides a useful framework for thinking about these (...)
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  • Okasha’s Evolution and the Levels of Selection: Toward a Broader Conception of Theoretical Biology. [REVIEW]Massimo Pigliucci - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):405-415.
    The debate about the levels of selection has been one of the most controversial both in evolutionary biology and in philosophy of science. Okasha’s book makes the sort of contribution that simply will not be able to be ignored by anyone interested in this field for many years to come. However, my interest here is in highlighting some examples of how Okasha goes about discussing his material to suggest that his book is part of an increasingly interesting trend that sees (...)
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  • Evolution: A View From the 21st Century James Shapiro Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press Science, 2011.Alexander Powell - 2011 - Genomics, Society and Policy 7 (1):1-9.
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  • The Strategy of Endogenization in Evolutionary Biology.Samir Okasha - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
    Evolutionary biology is striking for its ability to explain a large and diverse range of empirical phenomena on the basis of a few general theoretical principles. This article offers a philosophical perspective on the way that evolutionary biology has come to achieve such impressive generality, by focusing on “the strategy of endogenization”. This strategy involves devising evolutionary explanations for biological features that were originally part of the background conditions, or scaffolding, against which such explanations take place. Where successful, the strategy (...)
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  • Delegated Causality of Complex Systems.Raimundas Vidunas - 2019 - Axiomathes 29 (1):81-97.
    A notion of delegated causality is introduced here. This subtle kind of causality is dual to interventional causality. Delegated causality elucidates the causal role of dynamical systems at the “edge of chaos”, explicates evident cases of downward causation, and relates emergent phenomena to Gödel’s incompleteness theorem. Apparently rich implications are noticed in biology and Chinese philosophy. The perspective of delegated causality supports cognitive interpretations of self-organization and evolution.
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  • Darwinism Without Populations: A More Inclusive Understanding of the “Survival of the Fittest”.Frédéric Bouchard - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (1):106-114.
    Following Wallace’s suggestion, Darwin framed his theory using Spencer’s expression “survival of the fittest”. Since then, fitness occupies a significant place in the conventional understanding of Darwinism, even though the explicit meaning of the term ‘fitness’ is rarely stated. In this paper I examine some of the different roles that fitness has played in the development of the theory. Whereas the meaning of fitness was originally understood in ecological terms, it took a statistical turn in terms of reproductive success throughout (...)
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  • The Rich Detail of Cultural Symbol Systems.Dwight W. Read - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (4):434-435.
    The goal of forming a science of intentional behavior requires a more richly detailed account of symbolic systems than is assumed by the authors. Cultural systems are not simply the equivalent in the ideational domain of culture of the purported Baldwin Effect in the genetic domain. © 2014 Cambridge University Press.
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  • Biological Markets, Cooperation, and the Evolution of Morality.Joeri Witteveen - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz007.
    Biological market theory has in recent years become an important part of the social evolutionist’s toolkit. This article discusses the explanatory potential and pitfalls of biological market theory in the context of big picture accounts of the evolution of human cooperation and morality. I begin by assessing an influential account that presents biological market dynamics as a key driver of the evolution of fairness norms in humans. I argue that this account is problematic for theoretical, empirical, and conceptual reasons. After (...)
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  • Immunity and the Emergence of Individuality.Thomas Pradeu - 2013 - In Philippe Huneman & Frédéric Bouchard (eds.), From Groups to Individuals. Evolution and Emerging Individuality. MIT Press. pp. 77.
    Since, it has become clear that individuality is not to be considered as a given, but rather as something which needs to be explained. How has individuality emerged through evolution, and how has it subsequently been maintained? In particular, why is it that multicellular organisms appeared and persisted, despite the obvious interest of each cell of favoring its own replication? Several biologists see the immune system as one of the key components for explaining the maintenance of multicellular organisms’ individuality. Indeed, (...)
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  • 15 Heterogeneous Economic Evolution: A Different View on Darwinizing Evolutionary Economics.Jack Vromen - 2011 - In J. B. Davis & D. W. Hands (eds.), Elgar Companion to Recent Economic Methodology. Edward Elgar Publishers. pp. 341.
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  • A Defining Analysis of the Life and Death Dyad: Paving the Way for an Ethical Debate.G. Boniolo & P. Paolo Di Fiore - 2008 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 33 (6):609-634.
    We discuss the meaning of “being alive” and “being dead.” Our primary aim is to pave the way for a sound and accurate ethical debate concerning these two concepts. In particular, we analyze a metabolic approach and a genetic one and discuss the reasons for their failure to constitute a good starting point for successive debates. We argue that any ethical or social discussion of topics involving life and death must introduce cultural constructs such as, on the one hand, the (...)
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  • Queller’s Separation Condition Explained and Defended.Jonathan Birch & James A. R. Marshall - 2014 - American Naturalist 184 (4):531-540.
    The theories of inclusive fitness and multilevel selection provide alternative perspectives on social evolution. The question of whether these perspectives are of equal generality remains a divisive issue. In an analysis based on the Price equation, Queller argued (by means of a principle he called the separation condition) that the two approaches are subject to the same limitations, arising from their fundamentally quantitative-genetical character. Recently, van Veelen et al. have challenged Queller’s results, using this as the basis for a broader (...)
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