Kin Selection, Group Selection, and the Varieties of Population Structure

Kin Selection, Group Selection, and the Varieties of Population Structure Abstract 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 (‘K-G space’) provides a useful framework for thinking about these differences: kin and group selection may be conceptualized as large, overlapping regions of K-G space. I then consider some implications of the account, defend it from possible objections, and further argue that the structural features characteristic of both kin and group selection may recur at multiple levels of biological organization. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science Oxford University Press

Kin Selection, Group Selection, and the Varieties of Population Structure

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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com
ISSN
0007-0882
eISSN
1464-3537
D.O.I.
10.1093/bjps/axx028
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract 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 (‘K-G space’) provides a useful framework for thinking about these differences: kin and group selection may be conceptualized as large, overlapping regions of K-G space. I then consider some implications of the account, defend it from possible objections, and further argue that the structural features characteristic of both kin and group selection may recur at multiple levels of biological organization. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com

Journal

The British Journal for the Philosophy of ScienceOxford University Press

Published: Aug 31, 2017

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