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Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 233–239 | Cite as

Genetic dissent and individual compromise

  • David HaigEmail author
Article

Abstract

Organisms can be treated as optimizers when there is consensus among their genes about what is best to be done, but genomic consensus is often lacking, especially in interactions among kin because kin share some genes but not others. Grafen adopts a majoritarian perspective in which an individual’s interests are identified with the interests of the largest coreplicon of its genome, but genomic imprinting and recombination factionalize the genome so that no faction may predominate in some interactions among kin. Once intragenomic conflicts are recognized, the individual organism can be conceptualized as an arbiter among competing interests within a collective. Organismal adaptation can be recognized without phenotypes being optimized.

Keywords

Coreplicon Formal Darwinism Genomic imprinting Intragenomic conflict Recombination Strategic gene 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The manuscript has benefited from the comments of Samir Okasha and Eneida Pardo.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Organismic and Evolutionary BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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