I'm pretty excited to announce that, as of friday this week, Jessica Laimann and I are convening a brand new shiny reading group. Theme is 'Inheritance and Cooperation', this week's reading is 'The major evolutionary transitions' by Szathmáry and Maynard Smith 1995 (the paper, not the book) and tickets are selling fast. Not literally, obviously, although I am thinking about flogging a commemorative mug.
We'll be a mixed group of Philosophy BPhil students (that's masters students to you and I, but masters students on an exceptionally competitive two-year course) and zoologists, with maybe an anthropologist or two for luck. The plan is to fly through some foundational readings in transitions/cooperation theory, and then bring in some evo-devo, some stuff on different systems of inheritance and some stuff on biological information. We're going to take in a bit of Axelrod, some Jablonka, some Hull, some Griffiths & Stotz, a generous handful of readings from Cooperation and its evolution' (Sterelny, Joyce, Calcott and Fraser 2013), a little bit of niche construction theory, a little bit on the ultimate/proximate distinction, some infotel semantics, plus a whole glorious mash up of Birch, Okasha, Frank, Lewens, Skyrms, and more.
Even more exciting, just when you thought that wasn't possible, we're going to help ourselves to a greedy selection of readings with possible guest appearances from home-grown Inheritance and Cooperation superstars, including Cecilia Heyes, Nicholas Shea, Tobias Uller, John Odling-Smee, Kevin Foster, Robin Dunbar and Stuart West.
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Now how am I going to get to sleep tonight?