Chapter

Theoretical and Experimental Approaches to the Evolution of Altruism and the Levels of Selection

Benjamin Kerr

in Experimental Evolution

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780520247666
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944473 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520247666.003.0019
Theoretical and Experimental Approaches to the Evolution of Altruism and the Levels of Selection

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This chapter reviews some of the theoretical approaches to the study of altruism in an attempt to clarify some basic concepts, focusing on the models and statistical tools that have appeared in the levels of selection literature and attempting to make connections between different theoretical approaches in the process. It also describes laboratory and field experiments that have addressed the evolution of different forms of altruism, some directly and some indirectly. The chapter ends by discussing some philosophical issues in the debate over the levels of selection, and the general impact of theoretical and empirical results for this debate.

Keywords: altruism; levels of selection; theoretical approaches; laboratory experiments; field experiments; evolution

Chapter.  20071 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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