Biological Theory 10 (2):116-124 (2015)

The contextual approach is a prominent framework for thinking about group selection. Here, I highlight ambiguity about what the contextual approach is. Then, I discuss problematic entailments the contextual approach has for what processes count as group selection—entailments more troublesome than typically noted. However, Sober and Wilson’s version of the Price approach, which is the main alternative to the contextual approach, is problematic too: it leads to an underappreciated paradox called the vanishing selection problem and thereby generates the wrong qualitative account of whether group selection is occurring in a certain family of cases. In response, I develop an account of group selection that can deal with the counterexamples to both the contextual approach and the Price approach. I then discuss the role that contextual analysis can continue to play in the discussion of individual fitness and metapopulation evolution.
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DOI 10.1007/s13752-015-0209-z
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References found in this work BETA

Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
Causality.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Evolution and the Levels of Selection.Samir Okasha - 2006 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

A Trilemma for Teleological Individualism.John Basl - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1027-1029.
Cross-Unit Causation and the Identity of Groups.Bruce Glymour - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (4):717-736.

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