Cultural evolution of human cooperation

Abstract
Evolutionary theory relevant to the question of human cooperation is reviewed and compared to other theoretical perspectives. A compound explanation is distilled as a plausible account of human cooperation and selfishness. This account leans heavily on group selection on cultural variation but also includes lower-level forces driven by both micro-scale cooperation and purely selfish motives. It is proposed that innate aspects of human social psychology coevolved with group-selected cultural institutions to produce just the kinds of social and moral faculties originally proposed by Darwin. This is termed the “tribal social instincts” hypothesis. The account is systemic in the sense that human social systems are functionally differentiated, conflicted, and diverse. A successful explanation of human cooperation has to account for these complexities. For example, a tribal-scale cultural group selection process alone cannot account for human patterns of cooperation because, on one hand, much conflict exists within tribes and, on the other, people have proven able to organize cooperation on a much larger scale than tribes. Multilevel selection and gene-culture coevolution effects are included to account for some of these complexities and empirical tests of the resulting hypotheses are discussed. In particular, it is argued that strong support for the tribal social instincts hypothesis comes from the structure of modern social institutions. These institutions have conspicuous “work-arounds” that shed light on the underlying instincts.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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: 9,357
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  •   Try with proxy.
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Only published papers are available at libraries
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2009-01-28

    Total downloads

    13 ( #100,556 of 1,088,785 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,785 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


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