History and Philosophy Of Science | Philosophy of Biology
X755 | 7178 | Elisabeth Lloyd


This seminar will be devoted to an exploration of the various
problems in evolutionary biology and philosophy of biology that are
encompassed under the umbrella term, “units of selection”.  We will
investigate in detail the claims of the “gene’s eye view” account of
Dawkins and Williams, as well as philosophical defenses and
critiques of that view.  We will also follow the development of the
group selection debates and the very heated arguments about how
group selection is related to kin selection.   Finally, we will
examine the early and later claims about species, clade, and lineage
selection, in some ways the most radical of the hierarchical
selection theories.  We will rely on both original biological
sources and philosophical analyses, ranging from papers published in
the 1940’s to fresh unpublished works being developed today.  This
is an area to which the instructor has devoted over 20 years of
research and publication.