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Multilevel Selection and the Major Transitions in Evolution

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Abstract

A number of recent biologists have used multilevel selection theory to help explain the major transitions in evolution. I argue that in doing so, they have shifted from a ‘synchronic’ to a ‘diachronic’ formulation of the levels of selection question. The implications of this shift in perspective are explored, in relation to an ambiguity in the meaning of multilevel selection. Though the ambiguity is well-known, it has never before been discussed in the context of the major transitions.

Type
Topics in Evolutionary Theory
Copyright
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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Footnotes

Thanks to Peter Godfrey-Smith, Kim Sterelny, Brett Calcott, Susanna Rinard, Rick Michod, Alirio Rosales, John Damuth, and Jim Griesemer for comments and discussion.

References

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