Symbiosis, selection, and individuality
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- Booth, A. Biol Philos (2014) 29: 657. doi:10.1007/s10539-014-9449-8
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A recent development in biology has been the growing acceptance that holobionts, entities comprised of symbiotic microbes and their host organisms, are widespread in nature. There is agreement that holobionts are evolved outcomes, but disagreement on how to characterize the operation of natural selection on them. The aim of this paper is to articulate the contours of the disagreement. I explain how two distinct foundational accounts of the process of natural selection give rise to competing views about evolutionary individuality.