David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 17 (1):71-91 (2002)
Operational definitions of biological altruism in terms of actual fitness exchanges will not work because they include accidental acts as altruistic and exclude altruistic acts that have gone awry. I argue that the definition of biological altruism should contain an analogue of the role intention plays in psychological altruism. I consider two possibilities for this analogue, selected effect functions and the proximate causes and effects of behavior. I argue that the selected-effect function account will not work because it confuses the explanation of some altruistic behavior with the definition of all of it and the information needed to justify a selected effect account of function is too often inaccessible. Close attention to the proximate explanations of a behavior is all that is needed to determine if an act is biologically altruistic, returning biological altruism to descriptive ethology, where it belongs.
|Keywords||altruism ethology function intention|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Michael Schefczyk & Mark Peacock (2010). Altruism as a Thick Concept. Economics and Philosophy 26 (02):165-187.
Similar books and articles
Constantine Sedikides & Aiden P. Gregg (2002). Internal Mechanisms That Implicate the Self Enlighten the Egoism-Altruism Debate. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):274-275.
Yakov Shapiro & Glen O. Gabbard (1994). A Reconsideration of Altruism From an Evolutionary and Psychodynamic Perspective. Ethics and Behavior 4 (1):23 – 42.
Mahesh Ananth (2005). Psychological Altruism Vs. Biological Altruism: Narrowing the Gap with the Baldwin Effect. Acta Biotheoretica 53 (3):217-239.
Alejandro Rosas (2008). Multilevel Selection and Human Altruism. Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):205-215.
Michael Lewis (2002). Altruism is Never Self-Sacrifice. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):268-268.
Herbert Gintis (2002). Altruism and Emotions. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):258-259.
Klaus Jaffe (2004). Altruism, Altruistic Punishment and Social Investment. Acta Biotheoretica 52 (3):155-172.
J. McKenzie Alexander (2002). Behaviorism and Altruistic Acts. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):252-252.
Howard Rachlin (2002). Altruism is a Form of Self-Control. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):284-291.
David Sloan Wilson (1992). On the Relationship Between Evolutionary and Psychological Definitions of Altruism and Selfishness. Biology and Philosophy 7 (1):61-68.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads24 ( #83,619 of 1,679,329 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #182,781 of 1,679,329 )
How can I increase my downloads?