Biology and Philosophy

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 471–492 | Cite as

Replicator II – Judgement Day

  • Paul E. Griffiths
  • Russell D. Gray


The Developmental Systems approach to evolution is defended against the alternative ’extended replicator‘ approach of Sterelny, Smith and Dickison (1996). A precise definition is provided of the spatial and temporal boundaries of the ’life-cycle‘ that DST claims is the unit of evolution. Pacé Sterelny et al., the extended replicator theory is not a bulwark against excessive holism. Everything which DST claims is replicated in evolution can be shown to be an ’extended replicator‘ on Sterelny et al.‘s definition. Reasons are given for scepticism about the heuristic value claimed for the extended replicator concept. For every competitive, individualistic insight the replicator theorist has a cooperative, systematic blindspot.

gene replicator unit of selection individuality development 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul E. Griffiths
    • 1
  • Russell D. Gray
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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