Journal Article

Altruism, Group Selection and Correlated Interaction

Samir Okasha

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 56, issue 4, pages 703-725
Published in print December 2005 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axi143
Altruism, Group Selection and Correlated Interaction

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Group selection is one acknowledged mechanism for the evolution of altruism. It is well known that for altruism to spread by natural selection, interactions must be correlated; that is, altruists must tend to associate with one another. But does group selection itself require correlated interactions? Two possible arguments for answering this question affirmatively are explored. The first is a bad argument, for it rests on a product/process confusion. The second is a more subtle argument, whose validity (or otherwise) turns on issues concerning the meaning of multi-level selection and how it should be modelled. A cautious defence of the second argument is offered.

Introduction

Multi-level selection and the evolution of altruism

Price's equation and multi-level selection

Contextual analysis and multi-level selection

The neighbour approach

Recapitulation and conclusion

Journal Article.  10046 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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