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This book puts multilevel selection theory into a much needed historical perspective. This is achieved by discussing multilevel selection in the first half of the twentieth century, the reasons for the energetic rejection of Wynne-Edwards' group selectionist stance in the 1960s, Elisabeth Lloyd's contribution to the units of selection debate, Price's hierarchical equation and its possible interpretations and, finally, species selection in macroevolutionary contexts. Another idea also seems to emerge from these studies; namely, that perhaps a more sure-footed position for multilevel selection theory would be acquired if we were to show a renewed interest in 'old group selection', i.e. in scenarios in which the differential reproduction of the groups themselves affects the frequencies of either individual-level or group-level traits. Multilevel Selection and the Theory of Evolution will be of interest to philosophers and historians of biology, as well as to theoretically inclined biologists who have an interest in multilevel selection theory.
Chapter 1: Introduction (Ciprian Jeler)
Part I: Historical issues: Multilevel selection and the theory of evolution during the twentieth century
Chapter 2: The Roots of Multilevel Selection Theory: Concepts of Biological Individuality in the Early Twentieth Century (Abraham H. Gibson, Christina L. Kwapich, and Martha Lang)
Chapter 3: Tales of a failed scientific revolution. Wynne-Edwards' 'Animal Dispersion' (Mihail-Valentin Cernea)
Chapter 4: Equivalence, Interactors, and Lloyd's Challenge to Genic Pluralism (Ryan Ketcham)
Part II: Conceptual issues: Higher-level causes, fitnesses and traits
Chapter 5: Price's hierarchical equation and the notion of group fitness (Ciprian Jeler)
Chapter 6: A backward question about multilevel selection: can species selection help disentangle the notion of group selection? (Andreea Esanu)
Ciprian Jeler is a researcher at the Department of Interdisciplinary Research - Humanities and Social Sciences of the "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University of Iasi, Romania. Most of his recent work has been in the field of philosophy of evolutionary biology and results of this work have been published in journals such as Biology & Philosophy, Biological Theory and History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences.