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Social evolution and the two elements of causation

Pernu, Tuomas K. and Helanterä, Heikki (2019) Social evolution and the two elements of causation. Oikos, 128. pp. 905-911.

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Abstract

The kin selection theory has recently been criticised on the basis of claiming that genetic relatedness does not play a causal role in the social evolution among individuals of insect societies. We outline here a line of criticism of this view by demonstrating two things. First, there are strong conceptual, theoretical and empirical reasons to think that close genetic relatedness has been necessary for the rise of the helper castes of social insects. And second, once we understand how causal explanation itself results from an interplay of two logically distinct elements, necessity and sufficiency, we can also understand the scenarios in which relatedness does not seem to play a causal role for evolution of helper castes. The result of this analysis is that we should be more careful about the way we frame the empirical data on the evolution of social behaviour.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Pernu, Tuomas K.tuomas.pernu@helsinki.fi
Helanterä, Heikkiheikki.helantera@helsinki.fi
Keywords: behavioural ecology; causal explanation; causal necessity; inclusive fitness; kin selection; natural selection; sociobiology
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Ecology/Conservation
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Dr Tuomas K. Pernu
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2019 15:41
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2019 15:41
Item ID: 16311
Journal or Publication Title: Oikos
Official URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/o...
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Ecology/Conservation
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Date: 2019
Page Range: pp. 905-911
Volume: 128
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16311

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