The Formal Darwinism project probes the connections between the dynamics of natural selection and the design of organisms. Here, I explain why this work should be of interest to philosophers, arguing that it is the natural development in a long-running scholarly enquiry into the meaning of life. I then review some of my own work which has applied the tools of Formal Darwinism to address issues concerning the units of adaptation in social evolution, leading to a deeper understanding of the adaptation of individual organisms. Finally, I sketch some directions Formal Darwinism to explore beyond the biological sciences, with a focus upon cosmology.
KeywordsAnthropic bias Cosmological natural selection Design Group selection Inclusive fitness Multi-level selection Optimization Selfish gene Superorganism
I am funded by the Royal Society of London.
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