Biology and Philosophy

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 403–423

The Replicator in Retrospect

  • Peter Godfrey-Smith

DOI: 10.1023/A:1006704301415

Cite this article as:
Godfrey-Smith, P. Biology & Philosophy (2000) 15: 403. doi:10.1023/A:1006704301415


The history and theoretical role of the concept of a ``replicator''is discussed, starting with Dawkins' and Hull's classic treatmentsand working forward. I argue that the replicator concept is still auseful one for evolutionary theory, but it should be revised insome ways. The most important revision is the recognition that notall processes of evolution by natural selection require thatsomething play the role of a replicator.

interactor replicator unit of selection 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Godfrey-Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyStanford UniversityUSA

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