Why reciprocal altruism is not a kind of group selection

Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):385-400 (2011)
Reciprocal altruism was originally formulated in terms of individual selection and most theorists continue to view it in this way. However, this interpretation of reciprocal altruism has been challenged by Sober and Wilson (1998). They argue that reciprocal altruism (as well as all other forms of altruism) evolves by the process of group selection. In this paper, we argue that the original interpretation of reciprocal altruism is the correct one. We accomplish this by arguing that if fitness attaches to (at minimum) entire life cycles, then the kind of fitness exchanges needed to form the group-level in such situations is not available. Reciprocal altruism is thus a result of individual selection and when it evolves, it does so because it is individually advantageous
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10539-011-9261-7
 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: 15,879
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
Edward O. Wilson (2000). Sociobiology: The New Synthesis. Journal of the History of Biology 33 (3):577-584.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Robert Trivers (1971). The Evolution of Reciprocal Altruism. Quarterly Review of Biology 46 (1):35-57.
Samir Okasha (2005). Altruism, Group Selection and Correlated Interaction. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):703-725.
Christopher Stephens (1996). Modelling Reciprocal Altruism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (4):533-551.
Michael Byron, Evolutionary Ethics and Biologically Supportable Morality. Proceedings of Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, PAIDEIA: Philosophy Educating Humanity.
Samir Okasha (2001). Why Won't the Group Selection Controversy Go Away? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 52 (1):25-50.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

51 ( #65,771 of 1,725,237 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #210,900 of 1,725,237 )

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.