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Do Elliott Sober’s Arguments for Group Selection Really Account for the Causal Effect of Natural Selection?

Filozofia, 68 (2013), 4, 319-331.
Typ článku: State

The way Elliott Sober conceives group selection implies two claims: a) that natural selection is a cause; b) that natural selection can act at multiple levels of biological organization and that these multi-level selection processes are distinct or independent from one another. However, a comparison of multi-level selection processes with the distinction between selection and random drift allows us to assert that, if we conceive group selection as Sober does, the possibility of accurately quantifying the contributions to evolutionary change of two selective processes acting at different levels is an essential step needed in order to properly distinguish between them. However, Sober’s endorsement of the Price approach to measuring group and individual selection contributions makes it impossible for him to support, at the same time, both of the claims indicated above. He is thus forced either to admit an essential interconnectedness between selective processes acting at different levels, or to deny that evolutionary change is causally determined by natural selection.

Kľúčové slová

Causation, Contextual analysis, Distinguishable effects, E. Sober, Interconnectedness, Multi-level selection, Price equations

Súbor na stiahnutie: PDF