Philosophy of Science 57 (2):210-225 (1990)

Authors
Timothy Shanahan
Loyola Marymount University
Abstract
In recent years philosophers have attempted to clarify the units of selection controversy in evolutionary biology by offering conceptual analyses of the term 'unit of selection'. A common feature of many of these analyses is an emphasis on the claim that units of selection are entities exhibiting heritable variation in fitness. In this paper I argue that the demand that units of selection be characterized in terms of heritability is unnecessary, as well as undesirable, on historical, theoretical, and philosophical grounds. I propose a positive account of the proper referent of the term 'unit of selection', distinguishing between the processes of evolution and phenotypic selection. The main result of this analysis is greater clarity about the conceptual structure of evolutionary theory
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DOI 10.1086/289544
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References found in this work BETA

The Nature of Selection: Evolutionary Theory in Philosophical Focus.Elliott Sober - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (3):397-399.
Chance and Natural Selection.John Beatty - 1984 - Philosophy of Science 51 (2):183-211.
Models of Group Selection.Deborah G. Mayo & Norman L. Gilinsky - 1987 - Philosophy of Science 54 (4):515-538.
Beatty on Chance and Natural Selection.Timothy Shanahan - 1989 - Philosophy of Science 56 (3):484-489.

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Citations of this work BETA

Comments on Dennett From a Cautious Ally.Jonathan Bennett - 1993 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (2):381-385.
Evolution, Teleology, Intentionality.Daniel C. Dennett - 1993 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (2):89-391.
Explanatory Goals and Explanatory Means in Multilevel Selection Theory.Ciprian Jeler - 2020 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 42 (3):1-24.

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