Journal Article

Varieties of Population Structure and the Levels of Selection

Peter Godfrey-Smith

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 59, issue 1, pages 25-50
Published in print March 2008 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online March 2008 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axm044
Varieties of Population Structure and the Levels of Selection

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Group-structured populations, of the kind prominent in discussions of multilevel selection, are contrasted with ‘neighbor-structured’ populations. I argue that it is a necessary condition on multilevel description of a selection process that there should be a nonarbitrary division of the population into equivalence classes (or an approximation to this situation). The discussion is focused via comparisons between two famous problem cases involving group structure (altruism and heterozygote advantage) and two neighbor-structured cases that resemble them. Conclusions are also drawn about the role of correlated interaction in the evolution of altruism. 1

Introduction

2

Two Kinds of Population Structure

3

Objections and Replies

4

Particles on a Line

5

Conclusion

Appendix: Neighborhoods and Selection

Journal Article.  10480 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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