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Agents and goals in evolution

Author: Samir Okasha
Publisher: Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2018.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : English : First editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
Samir Okasha offers a critical study of agential thinking in biology, where evolved organisms are seen as agents pursuing a goal. He examines the justification for transposing concepts from rational humans to the biological world, and considers whether agential thinking is mere anthropomorphism or plays a more intellectual role in the science.
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: (OCoLC)1017599981
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Samir Okasha
ISBN: 9780192546722 0192546724 9780191852909 0191852902
OCLC Number: 1039094872
Description: 1 online resource.
Contents: Cover; Agents and Goals in Evolution; Copyright; Dedication; Contents; Detailed Contents; Preface and Acknowledgements; List of Figures, Tables, and Boxes; Introduction; Outline of the book; PART I: Agency in Evolutionary Biology; 1: Agential Thinking and its Rationale; 1.1 Introduction; 1.2 Concepts of Agency; 1.3 Two Types of Agential Thinking; 1.4 Mother Nature as an Agent; 1.4.1 Natural selection as rational choice?; 1.4.2 Natural selection as goal-directed?; 1.4.3 Reading mother nature's mind?; 1.5 Organisms as Agents; 1.5.1 Goal-directedness; 1.5.2 Behavioural flexibility 1.5.3 Adaptedness1.6 Unity-of-purpose; 1.7 Agents, Goals, and Interests; 1.8 Dennett Reconsidered; 1.9 Conclusion; 2: Genes and Groups as Agents; 2.1 Introduction; 2.2 Genes as Agents; 2.2.1 Ultimate versus intermediate goals; 2.2.2 A metaphor without a cause?; 2.3 Groups as Agents; 2.3.1 Conventionalism about agents?; 2.3.2 The equivalence thesis; 2.3.3 Gardner and Grafen on group agents; 2.4 Group Agency in Social Science; 2.4.1 Beyond individualism?; 2.5 The Biological Veil-of-ignorance; 2.5.1 The Harsanyi-Rawls argument; 2.5.2 The ant colony example; 2.6 Conclusion PART II: The 'Goal' of Fitness Maximization3: Wright's Adaptive Landscape, Fisher's FundamentalTheorem; 3.1 Introduction; 3.2 The Adaptive Landscape; 3.2.1 Hill-climbing: myth or reality?; 3.2.2 Hill-climbing and adaptation; 3.2.3 Extraneous factors?; 3.2.4 Why does the landscape metaphor persist?; 3.3 Fisher's FundamentalTheorem; 3.3.1 The FTNS explained; 3.3.2 One-locus two-allele example; 3.3.3 Environment and causality; 3.3.4 What does the FTNS show?; 3.4 Conclusion; Appendix 3.1; 4: Grafen's Formal Darwinism, Adaptive Dynamics; 4.1 Introduction; 4.2 Grafen's 'Maximizing Agent' Analogy 4.2.1 Four comments on Grafen4.2.2 What do Grafen's results show?; 4.3 Frequency-dependent Selection; 4.4 Empirical orTheoretical Justification?; 4.5 Conclusion; 5: Social Evolution, Hamilton's Rule, and Inclusive Fitness; 5.1 Introduction; 5.2 Hamilton's Rule and Inclusive Fitness Maximization; 5.2.1 Preliminaries; 5.3 The Case of Additive Payoffs; 5.3.1 Evolutionary analysis; 5.3.2 Rational agent analysis; 5.3.3 Utility as inclusive fitness; 5.3.4 Results; 5.3.5 A caveat: uniqueness; 5.4 Non-additive Payoffs; 5.4.1 Generalized Hamilton's rule; 5.4.2 Evolutionary analysis
Responsibility: Samir Okasha.

Abstract:

Samir Okasha offers a critical study of agential thinking in biology, where evolved organisms are seen as agents pursuing a goal. He examines the justification for transposing concepts from rational  Read more...

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