The concept of group heritability

Biology and Philosophy 18 (3):445-461 (2003)
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This paper investigates the role of the concept of group heritability in group selection theory, in relation to the well-known distinction between type 1 and type 2 group selection (GS1 and GS2). I argue that group heritability is required for the operation of GS1 but not GS2, despite what a number of authors have claimed. I offer a numerical example of the evolution of altruism in a multi-group population which demonstrates that a group heritability coefficient of zero is perfectly compatible with the successful operation of group selection in the GS2 sense. A diagnosis of why group heritability has wrongly been regarded as necessary for GS2 is suggested.



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Samir Okasha
University of Bristol

References found in this work

Précis of Unto Others.David Sloan Wilson & Elliott Sober - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (3):681-684.
Explanatory pluralism in evolutionary biology.Kim Sterelny - 1996 - Biology and Philosophy 11 (2):193-214.

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