Selection at Multiple Levels: Concepts and Methods

Samir Okasha

in Evolution and the Levels of Selection

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780199267972
Published online January 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191708275 | DOI:
 Selection at Multiple Levels: Concepts and Methods

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This chapter develops an abstract framework for thinking about selection acting at multiple hierarchical levels. The nature of hierarchical organization is analyzed, in particular the idea that interaction among lower-level entities is what gives rise to a higher-level entity. The relation between characters, fitnesses, and heritabilities at two hierarchical levels is discussed as a precursor to understanding multi-level selection. An important ambiguity in the notion of multi-level selection, due to J. Damuth and I. L. Heisler, is then examined. Both types of multi-level selection (MLS1 and MLS2) are analyzed using Price's equation and contrasted with each other.

Keywords: hierarchical organization; part-whole structure; interaction; particles; collectives; trait groups; multi-level selection; MLS1; MLS2; Price's equation

Chapter.  13867 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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