Evolution, altruism, and the prisoner's dilemma

Biology and Philosophy 7 (2):161-175 (1992)
I first argue against Peter Singer's exciting thesis that the Prisoner's Dilemma explains why there could be an evolutionary advantage in making reciprocal exchanges that are ultimately motivated by genuine altruism over making such exchanges on the basis of enlightened long-term self-interest. I then show that an alternative to Singer's thesis — one that is also meant to corroborate the view that natural selection favors genuine altruism, recently defended by Gregory Kavka, fails as well. Finally, I show that even granting Singer's and Kavka's claim about the selective advantage of altruism proper, it is doubtful whether that type of claim can be used in a particular sort of sociobiological argument against psychological egoism.
Keywords Altruism  evolution  Prisoner's Dilemma  sociobiology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00129881
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,305
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

68 ( #70,380 of 1,932,594 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

6 ( #149,517 of 1,932,594 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.