Journal Article

Gestalt-Switching and the Evolutionary Transitions

Peter Godfrey-Smith and Benjamin Kerr

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 64, issue 1, pages 205-222
Published in print March 2013 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online April 2012 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axr051
Gestalt-Switching and the Evolutionary Transitions

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Formal methods developed for modeling levels of selection problems have recently been applied to the investigation of major evolutionary transitions. We discuss two new tools of this kind. First, the ‘near-variant test’ can be used to compare the causal adequacy of predictively equivalent representations. Second, ‘state-variable gestalt-switching’ can be used to gain a useful dual perspective on evolutionary processes that involve both higher and lower level populations.

1Introduction

2Summary of our Modeling Framework

3The Near-Variant Test for Causal Adequacy

4State-variable Gestalt-Switching

5Representing an Evolutionary Transition

6Conclusion

Journal Article.  6095 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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