Review Essay

Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 26, Issue 6, pp 905-913

First online:

A gene’s eye view of Darwinian populations

Review of Peter Godfrey-Smith's Darwininan populations and natural selection. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2009
  • David C. QuellerAffiliated withDepartment of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University Email author 

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Biologists and philosophers differ on whether selection should be analyzed at the level of the gene or of the individual. In Peter Godfrey-Smith’s book, Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection, he argues that individuals can be good members of Darwinian populations, whereas genes rarely can. I take issue with parts of this view, and suggest that Godfrey-Smith’s scheme for thinking about Darwinian populations is also applicable to populations of genes.


Population Natural selection Heredity Organism Replicator