Acta Biotheoretica

, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 83–86 | Cite as

Frédéric Bouchard and Philippe Huneman (eds.) From Groups to Individuals: Evolution and Emerging Individuality

The MIT Press, 2013, 278 pp, US$55.00 (HB), ISBN: 978-0262018722
  • Makmiller Pedroso
Book Review

Life is not distributed homogeneously on Earth’s surface. Instead, life is clustered into discernible individuals, such as organisms and cells. This happened in part because, at different moments in evolutionary history, free-living individuals merged to form higher-level individuals. Multicellular organisms evolved from single cells; eukaryotic cells evolved from different types of bacteria; and the first cells evolved from self-replicating molecules (Maynard Smith and Szathmáry 1995; Calcott and Sterelny 2011). A thorny issue in contemporary biology is to explain how individuals evolved from groups of lower-level individuals. Bouchard and Huneman’s book contains eleven new contributions aimed to advance this issue, written by leading scholars in both philosophy and biology. Their book is divided into three parts: the relation between the concepts of individual and organism; the role of adaptations in the evolution of individuals; and the extent to which collectives, such as...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Religious StudiesTowson UniversityTowsonUSA

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