Levels of selection are artefacts of different fitness temporal measures

Pierrick Bourrat*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper I argue against the claim, recently put forward by some philosophers of biology and evolutionary biologists, that there can be two or more ontologically distinct levels of selection. I show by comparing the fitness of individuals with that of collectives of individuals in the same environment and over the same period of time - as required to decide if one or more levels of selection is acting in a population - that the selection of collectives is a by-product of selection at the individual level; thus, talking about two or more levels of selection represents merely a different perspective on one and the same process.(1)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-50
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


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