Inclusive Fitness and the Problem of Honest Communication

Justin P. Bruner, Hannah Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Inclusive fitness has been under intense scrutiny in recent years, with many critics claiming the framework leads to incorrect predictions. We consider one particularly influential heuristic for estimating inclusive fitness in the context of the very case that motivated reliance on it to begin with: the Sir Philip Sidney signalling game played with relatives. Using a neighbour-modulated fitness model, we show when and why this heuristic is problematic. We argue that reliance on the heuristic rests on a misunderstanding of what it means for two organisms to be related and perpetuates a mischaracterization of the role of the ‘relatedness’ parameter in inclusive fitness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-137
Number of pages23
JournalBritish Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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