Moving past conventionalism about multilevel selection


The formalism used to describe evolutionary change in a multilevel setting can be used equally to re-describe the situation as one where all the selection occurs at the individual level. Thus, whether multilevel or individual-level selection occurs seems to be a matter of convention rather than fact. Yet, group selection is regarded by some as an important concept with factual rather than conventional elements. I flesh out an alternative position that regards groups as a target of selection in a way that is not merely definitional fiat and provide a theoretical basis for this position.

Pierrick Bourrat
Pierrick Bourrat
Senior Lecturer & DECRA Fellow

My research interests include the various concepts deployed in evolutionary theory, causation, and the interplay between biological and cultural evolution.