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Principles of Social Evolution$
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Andrew F.G. Bourke

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199231157

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231157.001.0001

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An expanded view of social evolution

An expanded view of social evolution

(p.1) 1 An expanded view of social evolution
Principles of Social Evolution

Andrew F. G. Bourke

Oxford University Press

A series of major transitions in evolution has generated the biological hierarchy (e.g., genes in cells, cells in organisms, organisms in societies) observed today. Each transition requires that previously selfish, free-living individuals join together to form a group resembling an individual in its own right. This book seeks to identify the principles of social evolution that underlie the major transitions, focusing on the evolution of the eukaryotic cell, sexual reproduction, multicellularity, eusociality, and interspecific mutualisms. It suggests that each major transition has three stages – social group formation, social group maintenance, and social group transformation. Using Hamilton's inclusive fitness theory (kin selection theory) as its conceptual foundation, the book investigates two underexplored issues. First, to what extent do common principles operate at each stage of the major transitions and what is the evidence for their operation; and second, what are the principles underlying social group transformation?

Keywords:   eukaryotic cell, eusociality, inclusive fitness theory, interspecific mutualism, kin selection theory, multicellularity, sexual reproduction, social group formation, social group maintenance, social group transformation

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