• Ciprian Jeler


This short introduction argues that the recent insistence of researchers on “new group selection”—i.e. on scenarios with groups making more individuals—may lead multilevel selection theory towards marginalization, if not even towards a new controversial or questionable status. This seems to indicate that a more sure-footed position for multilevel selection theory would be acquired if we were to show a renewed interest in “old group selection”, i.e. in scenarios in which the differential reproduction of the groups themselves affects the frequencies of either individual-level or group-level traits. The contributions to this volume are then briefly presented, with an emphasis on how, even though they may not openly endorse the above idea, they do seem to point in its direction.


Multilevel selection Kin selection Contextual analysis Altruism 


  1. Damuth, J., & Heisler, I. L. (1988). Alternative formulations of multilevel selection. Biology and Philosophy, 3(4), 407–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Goodnight, C. J. (2013). On multilevel selection and kin selection: Contextual analysis meets direct fitness. Evolution, 67(6), 1539–1548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Heisler, I. L., & Damuth, J. (1987). A method for analyzing selection in hierarchically structured populations. The American Naturalist, 130(4), 582–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Jablonski, D., & Hunt, G. (2006). Larval ecology, geographic range, and species survivorship in Cretaceous mollusks: Organismic versus species-level explanations. The American Naturalist, 168(4), 556–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Jeler, C. (2017). Multi-level selection and the issue of environmental homogeneity. Biology and Philosophy, 32(5), 651–681.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Okasha, S. (2006). Evolution and the levels of selection. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Price, G. (1972). Extension of covariance selection mathematics. Annals of Human Genetics, 35(4), 485–490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Pruitt, J. N., & Goodnight, C. J. (2014). Site-specific group selection drives locally adapted group compositions. Nature, 514(7522), 359–362.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Sober, E., & Wilson, D. S. (1998). Unto others: The evolution and psychology of unselfish behavior. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Wade, M. J. (1976). Group selection among laboratory populations of Tribolium. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America, 73(12), 4604–4607.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Wade, M. J. (2016). Adaptation in metapopulations. How interaction changes evolution. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. West, S. A., Griffin, A. S., & Gardner, A. (2007). Social semantics: Altruism, cooperation, mutualism, strong reciprocity and group selection. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 20(2), 415–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Wilson, D. S. (1975). A theory of group selection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America, 72(1), 143–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Wilson, D. S. (2008). Social semantics: Toward a genuine pluralism in the study of social behavior. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 21(1), 368–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ciprian Jeler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Interdisciplinary Research – Humanities and Social Sciences“Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of IaşiIaşiRomania

Personalised recommendations