How does social behaviour evolve in the natural world? How can social evolution theory shed light on the origins of new levels of biological organization? How can W. D. Hamilton’s concept of “inclusive fitness” help us to understand cooperation in microorganisms, insects and humans?

This half-day workshop on Friday 23 February will consider these questions with reference to Jonathan Birch’s new book, The Philosophy of Social Evolution, published by Oxford University Press. It will be followed on Saturday 24 February by a public event on The Evolution of Altruism.

The speakers and titles for the workshop are:

Jonathan Birch (LSE): “Inclusive Fitness: Dissecting a Scientific Controversy”

Samir Okasha (Bristol): “Why Should Philosophers Be Interested in Social Evolution?”

Hannah Rubin (Gröningen): “What Is the Distinctive Role of Inclusive Fitness?”

Heikki Helanterä (Helsinki): “Social Control and the Evolutionary Transitions in Individuality”


This workshop is free and open to all. The event is not ticketed, but please register to allow us to estimate numbers.