The Nature of Selection: Evolutionary Theory in Philosophical Focus
The Nature of Selection is a straightforward, self-contained introduction to philosophical and biological problems in evolutionary theory. It presents a powerful analysis of the evolutionary concepts of natural selection, fitness, and adaptation and clarifies controversial issues concerning altruism, group selection, and the idea that organisms are survival machines built for the good of the genes that inhabit them.
"Sober's is the answering philosophical voice, the voice of a first-rate philosopher and a knowledgeable student of contemporary evolutionary theory. His book merits broad attention among both communities. It should also inspire others to continue the conversation."-Philip Kitcher, Nature
"Elliott Sober has made extraordinarily important contributions to our understanding of biological problems in evolutionary biology and causality. The Nature of Selection is a major contribution to understanding epistemological problems in evolutionary theory. I predict that it will have a long lasting place in the literature."-Richard C. Lewontin
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adaptation allele altruism argument average fitness biological biologists bithorax causal role causally efficacious cause chance characteristics characterization claim concept consider context coronaries correlation Darwin Darwinian fitness Dawkins described deterministic discussed effect empirical ensemble environment equilibrium event evolution by natural evolutionary forces evolutionary theory evolve example explain explanatory fact female female-biased fertilized Fisher's fitness differences fitness function fitness values fitter fixation gametes gene frequencies genic selection genic selectionism genotype group selection heart attacks heterozygote hypothesis idea increase individual selection kin selection Lewontin mutation natural selection norm of reaction objects occur organism's organisms overall fitness parsimony phenotype philosophers physical population genetics positive causal factor possible predators predict priori probabilistic probability problem produce properties propositions question reason reproductive success requires Section 1.4 selection process selfish selfish DNA sex ratio simply single gene smoking sort speciation species selection supervenience Suppose survival and reproduction tossed trait true units of selection Williams