Evolution and the Levels of Selection

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Overview

Does natural selection act primarily on individual organisms, on groups, on genes, or on whole species? The question of levels of selection - on which biologists and philosophers have long disagreed - is central to evolutionary theory and to the philosophy of biology. Samir Okasha's comprehensive analysis gives a clear account of the philosophical issues at stake in the current debate.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Samir Okasha's wonderful new book...is a philosophical examination of the conceptual framework that multi-level selection theory deploys...It is gratifying that his book engages the details of mathematical models and at the same time connects those details with broader philosophical questions."—Elliott Sober, Bioscience

"The current volume provides an exceptionally lucid and analyitically rigorous review of the main conceptual challenges facing biologists and philosophers who have engaged in this work."—Mark E. Borrello, The Quarterly Review of Biology

"Major contribution toward putting this controversial area on a coherent conceptual and philosophical footing. ... I can't imagine anyone working on multilevel selection-or attempting to dismiss it-without reading this book."—Science

"Every philosopher of biology interested in aspects of the levels of selection debates ought to confront this material, and should think seriously about how the positions he or she ahs staked out fits into the frameworks Okasha outlines. Okasha has written an extremely important book."—Jonathan Michael Kaplan, Notre Dame Philosophical Reivews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199267972
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 1/18/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Samir Okasha is Professor of Philosophy at Bristol University. Before that he taught at the University of York for 3 years, and was a Jacobsen Research Fellow at the London School of Economics for 2 years. He was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Univeristy of Mexico for 1 year and received his doctorate in 1998 from the University of Oxford.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1. Natural Selection in the Abstract
2. Selection at Multiple Levels: Concepts and Methods
3. Causality and Multi-level Selection
4. Philosophical Issues in the Levels of Selection Debate
5. The Gene's Eye View and its Discontents
6. The Group Selection Controversy
7. Species Selection, Clade Selection and Macroevolution
8. Levels of Selection and the Major Evolutionary Transitions

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