David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 21 (2):213-234 (2006)
My aim in this paper is to demonstrate that a very simple learning rule based on imitation can help to sustain altruism as a culturally transmitted pattern or behaviour among agents playing a standard prisoner’s dilemma game. The point of this demonstration is not to prove that imitation is single-handedly responsible for existing levels of altruism (a thesis that is false), nor is the point to show that imitation is an important factor in explanations for the evolution of altruism (a thesis already prominent in the existing literature). The point is to show that imitation contributes to the evolution of altruism in a particular way that is not always fairly represented by evolutionary game theory models. Specifically, the paper uses a simple model to illustrate that cultural transmission includes mechanisms that do not transmit phenotype vertically (i.e. from parent to related offspring) and that these mechanisms can promote altruism in the absence of any direct biological propensity favouring such behaviour. This is a noteworthy result because it shows that evolutionary models can be built to explicitly reflect the contribution of non-vertical transmission in our explanations for the evolution of altruism among humans and other social species.
|Keywords||Altruism Cultural Evolution Cultural Inheritance Cultural Transmission Evolution Game Theory Imitation Prisoner’s Dilemma|
|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
Elliott Sober & David Sloan Wilson (1998). Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior. Harvard University Press.
Brian Skyrms (1996). Evolution of the Social Contract. Cambridge University Press.
Daniel C. Dennett (1996). Darwin's Dangerous Idea. Behavior and Philosophy 24 (2):169-174.
Robert Axelrod (1984). The Evolution of Cooperation. Basic Books.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Elliott Sober (1992). The Evolution of Altruism: Correlation, Cost, and Benefit. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 7 (2):177-187.
James A. van Slyke (2010). Cognitive and Evolutionary Factors in the Emergence of Human Altruism. Zygon 45 (4):841-859.
Alejandro Rosas (2004). Mind Reading, Deception and the Evolution of Kantian Moral Agents. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 34 (2):127–139.
Ishtiyaque Haji (1992). Evolution, Altruism, and the Prisoner's Dilemma. Biology and Philosophy 7 (2):161-175.
Christopher Stephens (1996). Modelling Reciprocal Altruism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (4):533-551.
Sangeetha Menon (2007). Basics of Spiritual Altruism. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology 39 (2):137-152.
Scott Woodcock & Joseph Heath (2002). The Robustness of Altruism as an Evolutionary Strategy. Biology and Philosophy 17 (4):567-590.
Alan carter (2005). Evolution and the Problem of Altruism. Philosophical Studies 123 (3):213-230.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads34 ( #118,416 of 1,907,046 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #200,048 of 1,907,046 )
How can I increase my downloads?