Pierrick Bourrat: Dissolving the Fitness-Decoupling Paradox in Evolutionary Transitions in Individuality

  • Date: May 11, 2018
  • Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Pierrick Bourrat from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australien
  • For further information on the speaker, please check here: https://mq.edu.au/about_us/faculties_and_departments/faculty_of_arts/department_of_philosophy/staff/pierrick_bourrat/
  • Location: MPI Plön
  • Room: Lecture hall
  • Host: Paul Rainey


When an evolutionary transition in individuality occurs, the fitnesses of the lower-level individuals that compose a higher-level individual seems to progressively decouple from that of this higher-level individual: At the end of the transition, if the fitness of the higher-level level is high, the fitnesses of the lower-level entities that compose it are low, and vice versa. On the face of it, this is a paradoxical situation. In this talk, I show, that once one begins to think about fitness in ecological rather than in purely statistical terms, the paradox can readily be dissolved.

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