Advertisement

Price’s Hierarchical Equation and the Notion of Group Fitness

  • Ciprian Jeler
Chapter

Abstract

It is usually assumed that, when applied to cases with regularly reshuffled, non-overlapping groups whose characters are defined as the average character of their individual members (such as David Sloan Wilson’s well-known trait-group model for the evolution of altruism), Price’s hierarchical equation tracks changes in the average value of individual-level traits and uses a notion of group fitness defined in terms of the number of individuals that groups produce. I argue that this is not necessarily so, and that Price’s equation can be used for estimating the magnitude of the influence of certain factors on the change in the average value of group-level traits and that the notion of group fitness used therein can be defined in terms of groups making more groups.

Keywords

Price’s equation Group fitness Group selection Multilevel selection Altruism 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS—UEFISCDI, project number PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-2653.

References

  1. Arnold, A., & Fristrup, K. (1982). The theory of evolution by natural selection: A hierarchical expansion. Paleobiology, 8(2), 113–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bourrat, P. (2016). Generalizing contextual analysis. Acta Biotheoretica, 64(2), 197–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brandon, R. N. (1990). Adaptation and environment. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Darwin, C. (1859). The origin of species. London: John Murray.Google Scholar
  5. Earnshaw, E. (2015). Group selection and contextual analysis. Synthese, 192(1), 305–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Frank, S. (1998). Foundations of social evolution. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Gardner, A. (2015). The genetical theory of multilevel selection. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 28(2), 305–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Godfrey-Smith, P. (2008). Varieties of population structure and the levels of selection. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 59(1), 25–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Godfrey-Smith, P. (2009). Darwinian populations and natural selection. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Heisler, I. L., & Damuth, J. (1987). A method for analyzing selection in hierarchically structured populations. The American Naturalist, 130(4), 582–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jeler, C. (2015). Is there such a thing as “group selection” in the contextual analysis framework? History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, 36(4), 484–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jeler, C. (2017). Multi-level selection and the issue of environmental homogeneity. Biology and Philosophy, 32(5), 651–681.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kerr, B. (2009). Theoretical and experimental approaches to the evolution of altruism and the levels of selection. In T. Garland Jr. & M. R. Rose (Eds.), Experimental evolution. Concepts, methods, and applications of selection experiments (pp. 585–630). Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  14. Kerr, B., & Godfrey-Smith, P. (2002). Individualist and multi-level perspectives on selection in structured populations. Biology and Philosophy, 17(4), 477–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McLoone, B. (2015). Some criticism of the contextual approach, and a few proposals. Biological Theory, 10(2), 116–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Okasha, S. (2004). Multilevel selection and the partitioning of covariance: A comparison of three approaches. Evolution, 58(3), 486–494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Okasha, S. (2006). Evolution and the levels of selection. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Price, G. (1970). Selection and covariance. Nature, 227, 520–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Price, G. (1972). Extension of covariance selection mathematics. Annals of Human Genetics, 35(4), 485–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rainey, P. B., & Kerr, B. (2011). Conflicts among levels of selection as fuel for the evolution of individuality. In B. Calcott & K. Sterelny (Eds.), The major transitions in evolution revisited (pp. 141–162). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sober, E. (2015). Replies to commentators on Did Darwin Write the Origin Backwards? Philosophical Studies, 172(3), 829–840.Google Scholar
  22. Sober, E., & Wilson, D. S. (1998). Unto others: The evolution and psychology of unselfish behavior. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Wilson, D. S. (1975). A theory of group selection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America, 72(1), 143–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Wilson, D. S. (1977). Structured demes and the evolution of group advantageous traits. The American Naturalist, 111(1), 157–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wilson, D. S. (2006). Levels of selection: An alternative to individualism in biology and the human sciences. In E. Sober (Ed.), Conceptual issues in evolutionary biology (pp. 63–75). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ciprian Jeler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Interdisciplinary Research – Humanities and Social Sciences“Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of IaşiIaşiRomania

Personalised recommendations