PhilSci Archive

Cancer and the Levels of Selection

Okasha, Samir (2021) Cancer and the Levels of Selection. [Preprint]

[img]
Preview
Text
CancerLevels FINAL BJPS.pdf

Download (238kB) | Preview

Abstract

Cancer is often seen as a case of multilevel selection, in which selfish cancer cells pursue short-term proliferation to the detriment of the collective. Thus cancer cells are described as `cheats', and an analogy is often drawn between the mechanisms by which organisms fight cancer and the mechanisms by which social groups enforce cooperation. Recently, Gardner ([2015a]) and Shpak and Lu ([2016]) have argued that cancer is not a true case of multilevel selection, that cancer cells should be not regarded as cheats, and that the analogy between anti-cancer adaptations and suppression mechanisms in social groups is misleading. Their arguments are powerful. However, by drawing on the (presumed) link between cancer and the evolution of multicellularity, the notion that cancer represents a form of selective conflict between cells and organisms can be salvaged.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Okasha, SamirSamir.Okasha@bristol.ac.uk
Additional Information: forthcoming in British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Keywords: levels of selection, cancer, social evolution, multicellularity, evolutionary conflict
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Developmental Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Depositing User: Dr Samir Okasha
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2021 19:21
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2021 19:21
Item ID: 19192
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Developmental Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Date: 17 June 2021
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19192

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item