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  1. Rory Smead & Kevin J. S. Zollman, The Stability of Strategic Plasticity.
    Recent research into the evolution of higher cognition has piqued an interest in the effect of natural selection on the ability of creatures to respond to their environment (behavioral plasticity). It is believed that environmental variation is required for plasticity to evolve in cases where the ability to be plastic is costly. We investigate one form of environmental variation: frequency dependent selection. Using tools in game theory, we investigate a few models of plasticity and outline the cases where selection would (...)
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  2. Rory Smead (forthcoming). Game Theory and the Ethics of Global Climate Change. Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche.
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  3. Patrick Forber & Rory Smead (2014). An Evolutionary Paradox for Prosocial Behavior. Journal of Philosophy 111 (3):151-166.
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  4. Brian McLoone & Rory Smead (2014). The Ontogeny and Evolution of Human Collaboration. Biology and Philosophy 29 (4):559-576.
    How is the human tendency and ability to collaborate acquired and how did it evolve? This paper explores the ontogeny and evolution of human collaboration using a combination of theoretical and empirical resources. We present a game theoretic model of the evolution of learning in the Stag Hunt game, which predicts the evolution of a built-in cooperative bias. We then survey recent empirical results on the ontogeny of collaboration in humans, which suggest the ability to collaborate is developmentally stable across (...)
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  5. Rory Smead (2013). Evolution and Apparent Irrationality (Reviewing S. Okasha and K. Binmore, Eds, Evolution and Rationality: Decisions, Co-Operation and Strategic Behavior). Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):451-454.
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  6. Simon Huttegger & Rory Smead (2011). Efficient Social Contracts and Group Selection. Biology and Philosophy 26 (4):517-531.
    We consider the Stag Hunt in terms of Maynard Smith’s famous Haystack model. In the Stag Hunt, contrary to the Prisoner’s Dilemma, there is a cooperative equilibrium besides the equilibrium where every player defects. This implies that in the Haystack model, where a population is partitioned into groups, groups playing the cooperative equilibrium tend to grow faster than those at the non-cooperative equilibrium. We determine under what conditions this leads to the takeover of the population by cooperators. Moreover, we compare (...)
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  7. Rory Smead (2011). Brian Skyrms , Signals: Evolution, Learning, and Information . New York: Oxford University Press (2010), 208 Pp., $27.00 (Paper). [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 78 (4):702-705.
  8. Simon M. Huttegger, Brian Skyrms, Rory Smead & Kevin J. S. Zollman (2010). Evolutionary Dynamics of Lewis Signaling Games: Signaling Systems Vs. Partial Pooling. [REVIEW] Synthese 172 (1):177 - 191.
    Transfer of information between senders and receivers, of one kind or another, is essential to all life. David Lewis introduced a game theoretic model of the simplest case, where one sender and one receiver have pure common interest. How hard or easy is it for evolution to achieve information transfer in Lewis signaling?. The answers involve surprising subtleties. We discuss some if these in terms of evolutionary dynamics in both finite and infinite populations, with and without mutation.
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  9. Rory Smead (2010). Indirect Reciprocity and the Evolution of “Moral Signals”. Biology and Philosophy 25 (1):33-51.
    Signals regarding the behavior of others are an essential element of human moral systems and there are important evolutionary connections between language and large-scale cooperation. In particular, social communication may be required for the reputation tracking needed to stabilize indirect reciprocity. Additionally, scholars have suggested that the benefits of indirect reciprocity may have been important for the evolution of language and that social signals may have coevolved with large-scale cooperation. This paper investigates the possibility of such a coevolution. Using the (...)
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  10. Kevin J. S. Zollman & Rory Smead (2010). Plasticity and Language: An Example of the Baldwin Effect? Philosophical Studies 147 (1):7 - 21.
    In recent years, many scholars have suggested that the Baldwin effect may play an important role in the evolution of language. However, the Baldwin effect is a multifaceted and controversial process and the assessment of its connection with language is difficult without a formal model. This paper provides a first step in this direction. We examine a game-theoretic model of the interaction between plasticity (represented by Herrnstein reinforcement learning) and evolution in the context of a simple language game. (...)
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  11. Rory Smead & Kevin J. S. Zollman, The Stability of Strategic Plasticity.
    Recent research into the evolution of higher cognition has piqued an interest in the effect of natural selection on the ability of creatures to respond to their environment (behavioral plasticity). It is believed that environmental variation is required for plasticity to evolve in cases where the ability to be plastic is costly. We investigate one form of environmental variation: frequency dependent selection. Using tools in game theory, we investigate a few models of plasticity and outline the cases where selection would (...)
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  12. Rory Smead (2008). The Evolution of Cooperation in the Centipede Game with Finite Populations. Philosophy of Science 75 (2):157-177.
    The partial cooperation displayed by subjects in the Centipede Game deviates radically from the predictions of traditional game theory. Even standard, infinite population, evolutionary settings have failed to provide an explanation for this behavior. However, recent work in finite population evolutionary models has shown that such settings can produce radically different results from the standard models. This paper examines the evolution of partial cooperation in finite populations. The results reveal a new possible explanation that is not open to the standard (...)
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