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1 — 50 / 126
  1. added 2018-12-17
    Kin Selection: A Philosophical Analysis.Jonathan Birch - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Cambridge
    This dissertation examines the conceptual and theoretical foundations of the most general and most widely used framework for understanding social evolution, W. D. Hamilton's theory of kin selection. While the core idea is intuitive enough (when organisms share genes, they sometimes have an evolutionary incentive to help one another), its apparent simplicity masks a host of conceptual subtleties, and the theory has proved a perennial source of controversy in evolutionary biology. To move towards a resolution of these controversies, we need (...)
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  2. added 2018-05-27
    The Difference Between the Scope of a Norm and Its Apparent Source.Jonathan Birch - 2018 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 41:E97.
    We should distinguish between the apparent source of a norm and the scope of the norm's satisfaction conditions. Wide-scope social norms need not be externalised, and externalised social norms need not be wide in scope. Attending to this distinction leads to a problem for Stanford: The adaptive advantages he attributes to externalised norms are actually advantages of wide-scope norms.
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  3. added 2018-03-31
    Viewing Others as Equals: The Non-Cognitive Roots of Shared Intentionality.Alejandro Rosas & Juan Pablo Bermúdez - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (3):485-502.
    We propose two adjustments to the classic view of shared intentionality as based on conceptual-level cognitive skills. The first one takes into account that infants and young children display this capacity, but lack conceptual-level cognitive skills. The second one seeks to integrate cognitive and non-cognitive skills into that capacity. This second adjustment is motivated by two facts. First, there is an enormous difference between human infants and our closest living primate relatives with respect to the range and scale of goal (...)
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  4. added 2018-02-17
    Violence in the Prehistoric Period of Japan: The Spatio-Temporal Pattern of Skeletal Evidence for Violence in the Jomon Period.Nakao Hisashi, Kohei Tamura, Yui Arimatsu, Tomomi Nakagawa, Naoko Matsumoto & Takehiko Matsugi - 2016 - Biology Letters 12:20160847.
    Whether man is predisposed to lethal violence, ranging from homicide to warfare, and how that may have impacted human evolution, are among the most controversial topics of debate on human evolution. Although recent studies on the evolution of warfare have been based on various archaeological and ethnographic data, they have reported mixed results: it is unclear whether or not warfare among prehistoric hunter–gatherers was common enough to be a component of human nature and a selective pressure for the evolution of (...)
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  5. added 2018-02-16
    Evolution and Moral Diversity.Tim Dean - 2012 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 7:1-16.
    If humans have an evolved moral psychology, then we should not expect it to function in an identical way between individuals. Instead, we should expect a diversity in the function of our moral psychology between individuals that varies along genetic lines, and a corresponding diversity of moral attitudes and moral judgements that emerge from it. This is because there was no one psychological type that would reliably produce adaptive social behaviour in the highly heterogeneous environments in which our minds evolved. (...)
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  6. added 2017-10-26
    The Philosophy of Social Evolution.Jonathan Birch - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    From mitochondria to meerkats, the natural world is full of spectacular examples of social behaviour. In the early 1960s W. D. Hamilton changed the way we think about how such behaviour evolves. He introduced three key innovations - now known as Hamilton's rule, kin selection, and inclusive fitness - and his pioneering work kick-started a research program now known as social evolution theory. This is a book about the philosophical foundations and future prospects of that program.
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  7. added 2017-09-25
    The Stag Hunt and the Evolution of Social Structure, Brian Skyrms. Cambridge University Press, 2004, 149 Pages. [REVIEW]J. McKenzie Alexander - 2006 - Economics and Philosophy 22 (3):441-448.
  8. added 2017-09-25
    The Evolutionary Foundations of Strong Reciprocity.J. McKenzie Alexander - unknown
    : Strong reciprocators possess two behavioural dispositions: they are willing to bestow bene ts on those who have bestowed bene ts, and they are willing to punish those who fail to bestow bene ts according to some social norm. There is no doubt that peoples' behaviour, in many cases, agrees with what we would expect if people are strong reciprocators, and Fehr and Henrich argue that many people are, in fact, strong reciprocators. They also suggest that strongly reciprocal behaviour may (...)
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  9. added 2017-07-31
    Kin Selection, Group Selection, and the Varieties of Population Structure.Jonathan Birch - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx028.
    Various results show the ‘formal equivalence’ of kin and group selectionist methodologies, but this does not preclude there being a real and useful distinction between kin and group selection processes. I distinguish individual and population-centred approaches to drawing such a distinction, and I proceed to develop the latter. On the account I advance, the differences between kin and group selection are differences of degree in the structural properties of populations. A spatial metaphor provides a useful framework for thinking about these (...)
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  10. added 2017-07-31
    The Inclusive Fitness Controversy: Finding a Way Forward.Jonathan Birch - 2017 - Royal Society Open Science 4:170335.
    This paper attempts to reconcile critics and defenders of inclusive fitness by constructing a synthesis that does justice to the insights of both. I argue that criticisms of the regression-based version of Hamilton’s rule, although they undermine its use for predictive purposes, do not undermine its use as an organizing framework for social evolution research. I argue that the assumptions underlying the concept of inclusive fitness, conceived as a causal property of an individual organism, are unlikely to be exactly true (...)
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  11. added 2017-05-10
    Biological Altruism.Okasha Samir - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Plato. Stanford. Edu/Entries/Altruism-Biological.
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  12. added 2017-05-10
    Why There Might Not Be an Evolutionary Explanation for Psychological Altruism.Stephen Stich - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 56:3-6.
  13. added 2017-05-10
    Altruism, Egoism, or Neither: A Cognitive-Efficiency-Based Evolutionary Biological Perspective on Helping Behavior.Armin W. Schulz - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 56:15-23.
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  14. added 2017-05-04
    Does Altruism Exist? [REVIEW]William Irwin - 2016 - Philosophy Now 112:46-47.
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  15. added 2017-03-02
    What Niche Did Human Cooperativeness Evolve In?Hannes Rusch - 2013 - Etica E Politica 15 (2):82-100.
    The Prisoner’s Dilemma is widely used to model interaction between unrelated individuals in the study of the evolution of cooperativeness. Many mechanisms have been studied which allow for small founding groups of cooperative individuals to prevail even when all social interaction is characterised as a PD. Here, a brief critical discussion of the role of the PD as the most prominent tool in cooperation research is presented, followed by two new objections to such an exclusive focus on PD-based models. It (...)
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  16. added 2017-02-16
    Evolution of Altruism.K. Verma & Suresh Sharma - 2009 - Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 19 (2):58-58.
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  17. added 2017-02-15
    The Evolution of Altruism.E. Sober & D. S. Wilson - 1998 - Biology and Philosophy 7:177-187.
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  18. added 2017-02-12
    Pro-Community Altruism and Social Status in a Shuar Village.Michael E. Price - 2003 - Human Nature 14 (2):191-195.
    Reciprocity theory (RT) and costly signaling theory (CST) provide different explanations for the high status of pro-community altruists: RT proposes that altruists are positively and negatively sanctioned by others, whereas CST proposes that altruists are attractive to others. Only RT, however, is beset by first- and higher-order free rider problems, which must be solved in order for RT to explain status allocations. In this paper, several solutions to RT’s free rider problems are proposed, and data about status allocations to Ecuadorian (...)
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  19. added 2017-02-11
    Sex Differences in Reciprocal Altruism: Reply to Mower.David C. Geary - 2009 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 39 (1):121-124.
    Mower questions some aspects of Geary's proposals regarding the nature of male-male and female-female relationships during human evolution and the implications for understanding the basis for same-sex friendships. The core of this proposal is reviewed and Mower's challenges to the core are addressed.
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  20. added 2017-02-07
    Introduction: The Biology of Psychological Altruism.Justin Garson & Armin W. Schulz - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 56:1-2.
    I develop a distinction between two types of psychological hedonism. Inferential hedonism (or “I-hedonism”) holds that each person only has ultimate desires regarding his or her own hedonic states (pleasure and pain). Reinforcement hedonism (or “R–hedonism”) holds that each person's ultimate desires, whatever their contents are, are differentially reinforced in that person’s cognitive system only by virtue of their association with hedonic states. I’ll argue that accepting R-hedonism and rejecting I-hedonism provides a conciliatory position on the traditional altruism debate, and (...)
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  21. added 2017-02-02
    Showing That You Care: The Evolution of Health Altruism.Robin Hanson - unknown
    Human behavior regarding medicine seems strange; assumptions and models that seem workable in other areas seem less so in medicine. Perhaps we need to rethink the basics. Toward this end, I have collected many puzzling stylized facts about behavior regarding medicine, and have sought a small number of simple assumptions which might together account for as many puzzles as possible.
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  22. added 2017-02-02
    Evolution and Altruism.Wim J. van der Steen - 1999 - Journal of Value Inquiry 33 (1):11-29.
  23. added 2017-02-01
    Altruism.N. Sesardic - 1999 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (3):457-466.
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  24. added 2017-01-27
    Genetic Models in Evolutionary Game Theory: The Evolution of Altruism.Hannah Rubin - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (6):1175-1189.
    While prior models of the evolution of altruism have assumed that organisms reproduce asexually, this paper presents a model of the evolution of altruism for sexually reproducing organisms using Hardy–Weinberg dynamics. In this model, the presence of reciprocal altruists allows the population to evolve to a stable polymorphic population where the majority of organisms are altruistic. Further, adding stochasticity leads to even larger numbers of altruists, while adding stochasticity to an analogous asexual model leads to more selfish organisms. The contrast (...)
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  25. added 2017-01-24
    Intergroup Aggression in Chimpanzees and War in Nomadic Hunter-Gatherers.Richard W. Wrangham & Luke Glowacki - 2012 - Human Nature 23 (1):5-29.
    Chimpanzee and hunter-gatherer intergroup aggression differ in important ways, including humans having the ability to form peaceful relationships and alliances among groups. This paper nevertheless evaluates the hypothesis that intergroup aggression evolved according to the same functional principles in the two species—selection favoring a tendency to kill members of neighboring groups when killing could be carried out safely. According to this idea chimpanzees and humans are equally risk-averse when fighting. When self-sacrificial war practices are found in humans, therefore, they result (...)
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  26. added 2017-01-24
    Interhousehold Meat Sharing Among Mayangna and Miskito Horticulturalists in Nicaragua.Jeremy Koster - 2011 - Human Nature 22 (4):394-415.
    Recent analyses of food sharing in small-scale societies indicate that reciprocal altruism maintains interhousehold food transfers, even among close kin. In this study, matrix-based regression methods are used to test the explanatory power of reciprocal altruism, kin selection, and tolerated scrounging. In a network of 35 households in Nicaragua’s Bosawas Reserve, the significant predictors of food sharing include kinship, interhousehold distance, and reciprocity. In particular, resources tend to flow from households with relatively more meat to closely related households with little, (...)
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  27. added 2017-01-24
    Human Beings as Evolved Nepotists.Steve Stewart-Williams - 2008 - Human Nature 19 (4):414-425.
    Inclusive fitness theory provides a compelling explanation for the evolution of altruism among kin. However, a completely satisfactory account of non-kin altruism is still lacking. The present study compared the level of altruism found among siblings with that found among friends and mates and sought to reconcile the findings with an evolutionary explanation for human altruism. Participants (163 males and 156 females) completed a questionnaire about help given to a sibling, friend, or mate. Overall, participants gave friends and mates as (...)
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  28. added 2017-01-23
    The Swashbuckling Anthropologist: Henrich on The Secret of Our Success. [REVIEW]Ellen Clarke & Cecilia Heyes - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (2):289-305.
    In The Secret of Our Success, Joseph Henrich claims that human beings are unique—different from all other animals—because we engage in cumulative cultural evolution. It is the technological and social products of cumulative cultural evolution, not the intrinsic rationality or ‘smartness’ of individual humans, that enable us to live in a huge range of different habitats, and to dominate most of the creatures who share those habitats with us. We are sympathetic to this general view, the latest expression of the (...)
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  29. added 2017-01-23
    Biological and Experimental Perspectives on Self-Interest: Reciprocal Altruism and Genetic Egoism.Hannes Rusch & Ulrich J. Frey - 2013 - In Christoph Luetge (ed.), Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics. Springer. pp. 313-335.
    The question on how the diverse forms of cooperative behavior in humans and nonhuman animals could have evolved under the pressure of natural selection has been a challenge for evolutionary biology ever since Darwin himself. In this chapter, we briefly review and summarize results from the last 50 years of research on human and nonhuman cooperativeness from a theoretical (biology) and an experimental perspective (experimental economics). The first section presents six concepts from theoretical biology able to explain a variety of (...)
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  30. added 2017-01-21
    Kcl/Lse Msc in Phs.Matteo Mameli, David Papineau & Ulrich Stegmann - unknown
    Altruism and Groups Many animals display altruistic behaviour (=df behaviour that benefits conspecifics more that the agent). Until the 1950s this was explained as good for the group if not the individual. (Ardrey, Wynne-Edwards, lemmings.) BUT won’t groups of altruists always be invaded by selfish animals?
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  31. added 2017-01-19
    1997, “Varieties of Altruism – and the Common Ground Between Them”, Social Research, 64, 199-209.Nicholas Humphrey - manuscript
    Altruistic behaviour, where it occurs in nature, is commonly assumed to belong to one or other of two generically different types. Either it is an example of "kin selected altruism" such as occurs between blood relatives – a worker bee risking her life to help her sister, for example, or a human father giving protection to his child. Or it is an example of "reciprocal altruism" such as occurs between non-relatives who have entered into a pact to exchange favours – (...)
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  32. added 2017-01-19
    Identifying the Explanatory Weakness of Strong Altruism: The Needle in the `Haystack Model'.Stephen G. Morris - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1124-1134.
    Evolutionary theorists have encountered difficulty in explaining how altruistic behavior can evolve. I argue that these theorists have made this task more difficult than it needs to be by focusing their efforts on explaining how nature could select for a strong type of altruism that has powerful selection forces working against it. I argue that switching the focus to a weaker type of altruism renders the project of explaining how altruism can evolve significantly less difficult. I offer a model of (...)
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  33. added 2017-01-19
    Can't We All Just Be Altruistic?Gwen J. Broude - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):253-254.
    Neither evolutionary theory nor behavioral evidence is consistent with Rachlin's view of altruism as a learned, domain-general learned habit displayed because of its intrinsic value. But human beings can be psychologically motivated by altruism while still reaping a genetic benefit from their altruistic actions.
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  34. added 2017-01-19
    Evolution, Altruism, and the Prisoner's Dilemma.Ishtiyaque Haji - 1992 - Biology and Philosophy 7 (2):161-175.
    I first argue against Peter Singer's exciting thesis that the Prisoner's Dilemma explains why there could be an evolutionary advantage in making reciprocal exchanges that are ultimately motivated by genuine altruism over making such exchanges on the basis of enlightened long-term self-interest. I then show that an alternative to Singer's thesis — one that is also meant to corroborate the view that natural selection favors genuine altruism, recently defended by Gregory Kavka, fails as well. Finally, I show that even granting (...)
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  35. added 2017-01-17
    Altruism and Beyond: An Economic Analysis of Transfers and Exchanges Within Families and Groups.Oded Stark - 1999 - Cambridge University Press.
    How do altruistic links affect allocative behavior and wellbeing? Can the processes of transmission and probable acquisition of parental traits result in a stable equilibrium where all agents are altruists? Why do children furnish their parents with attention and care? Does the timing of the intergenerational transfer of the family's productive asset affect the recipient's incentive to acquire human capital? Why do migrants remit? Altruism and Beyond provides answers to these and related questions. In addition, it traces some of the (...)
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  36. added 2017-01-16
    ‘Morals Can Not Be Drawn From Facts but Guidance May Be’: The Early Life of W.D. Hamilton's Theory of Inclusive Fitness.Sarah A. Swenson - 2015 - British Journal for the History of Science 48 (4):543-563.
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  37. added 2017-01-15
    Altruism, Inclusive Fitness, and “The Logic of Decision”.Brian Skyrms - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S104-S111.
    We show how Richard Jeffrey’s The Logic of Decision provides the proper formalism for calculating expected fitness for correlated encounters in general. As an illustration, some puzzles about kin selection are resolved.
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  38. added 2017-01-14
    Human Altruism – Proximate Patterns And.Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher - 2005 - Analyse & Kritik 27 (1):6-47.
    Are people selfish or altruistic? Throughout history this question has been answered on the basis of much introspection and little evidence. It has been at the heart of many controversial debates in politics, science, and philosophy. Some of the most fundamental questions concerning our evolutionary origins, our social relations, and the organization of society are centered around issues of altruism and selfishness. Experimental evidence indicates that human altruism is a powerful force and unique in the animal world. However, there is (...)
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  39. added 2016-12-08
    Evolution and the Problem of Altruism.Alan Carter - 2005 - Philosophical Studies 123 (3):213-230.
    Genuine altruism would appear to be incompatible with evolutionary theory. And yet altruistic behavior would seem to occur, at least on occasion. This article first considers a game-theoretical attempt at solving this seeming paradox, before considering agroup selectionist approach. Neither approach, as they stand, would seem to render genuine, as opposed to reciprocal, altruism compatible with the theory of evolution. The article concludes by offering an alternative game-theoretical solution to the problem of altruism.
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  40. added 2016-12-08
    Hyperstructures and the Biology of Interpersonal Dependence: Rethinking Reciprocity and Altruism.Thomas S. Smith & Gregory T. Stevens - 2002 - Sociological Theory 20 (1):106-130.
    Fluctuations in endogenous opioid activity in the brain, controlled under ordinary conditions by attachment, are capable of producing patterns of dependence in social behavior resembling those appearing in substance abusers. Withdrawal symptoms arising in relation to these fluctuations, short of producing dependence, ordinarily fuel everyday social interaction, and interaction then serves to modulate opioid activity within a range associated with comfort. Comfort-constraints in this sense operate in all settings of social interaction, part of an innate caregiving mechanism conserved by evolution (...)
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  41. added 2016-12-08
    The Robustness of Altruism as an Evolutionary Strategy.Scott Woodcock & Joseph Heath - 2002 - Biology and Philosophy 17 (4):567-590.
    Kin selection, reciprocity and group selection are widely regarded as evolutionary mechanisms capable of sustaining altruism among humans andother cooperative species. Our research indicates, however, that these mechanisms are only particular examples of a broader set of evolutionary possibilities.In this paper we present the results of a series of simple replicator simulations, run on variations of the 2–player prisoner's dilemma, designed to illustrate the wide range of scenarios under which altruism proves to be robust under evolutionary pressures. The set of (...)
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  42. added 2016-12-02
    Kamikazes and Cultural Evolution.Sean Allen-Hermanson - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Biological and Biomedical Sciences 61:11-19.
  43. added 2016-11-29
    The Moral Animal: Virtue, Vice, and Human Nature.Christian Miller, Berlin Heather & Shermer Michael - 2016 - Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences:39-56.
    Steve Paulson, executive producer and host of To the Best of Our Knowledge, moderated a discussion with philosopher Christian Miller, neuroscientist Heather Berlin, and historian of science Michael Shermer to examine our moral ecology and its influence on our underlying assumptions about human nature.
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  44. added 2016-09-13
    Cultural Group Selection and Holobiont Evolution – a Comparison of Structures of Evolution.Ehud Lamm - 2016 - In Snait Gissis, Ehud Lamm & Ayelet Shavit (eds.), Landscapes of Collectivity in the Life Sciences. MIT Press.
    The notion of structure of evolution is proposed to capture what it means to say that two situations exhibit the same or similar constellations of factors affecting evolution. The key features of holobiont evolution and the hologenome theory are used to define a holobiont structure of evolution. Finally, Cultural Group Selection, a set of hypotheses regarding the evolution of human cognition, is shown to match the holobiont structure closely though not perfectly.
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  45. added 2016-07-26
    Hamilton’s Two Conceptions of Social Fitness.Jonathan Birch - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):848-860.
    Hamilton introduced two conceptions of social fitness, which he called neighbour-modulated fitness and inclusive fitness. Although he regarded them as formally equivalent, a re-analysis of his own argument for their equivalence brings out two important assumptions on which it rests: weak additivity and actor's control. When weak additivity breaks down, neither fitness concept is appropriate in its original form. When actor's control breaks down, neighbour-modulated fitness may be appropriate, but inclusive fitness is not. Yet I argue that, despite its more (...)
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  46. added 2016-07-07
    The Evolution of Utility Functions and Psychological Altruism.Christine Clavien & Michel Chapuisat - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 56:24-31.
    Numerous studies show that humans tend to be more cooperative than expected given the assumption that they are rational maximizers of personal gain. As a result, theoreticians have proposed elaborated formal representations of human decision-making, in which utility functions including “altruistic” or “moral” preferences replace the purely self-oriented "Homo economicus" function. Here we review mathematical approaches that provide insights into the mathematical stability of alternative ways of representing human decision-making in social contexts. Candidate utility functions may be evaluated with help (...)
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  47. added 2016-06-26
    Editorial: Parochial Altruism – Pitfalls and Prospects.Hannes Rusch, Robert Böhm & Benedikt Herrmann - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
    The ten original studies included in this Research Topic investigate selected assumptions and predictions of parochial altruism theory in detail. We, the editors, are convinced that their highly instructive findings will help researchers interested in parochial altruism, but also in intergroup psychology more generally, to gain a much more fine-grained understanding of the interplay of altruistic and spiteful motives in human decision making in the context of intergroup relations. The broad range of disciplines represented by the authors contributing to this (...)
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  48. added 2016-04-21
    An Evolutionary Ockham's Razor to Reciprocity.Irene Berra - 2014 - Frontiers in Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 5:01258.
    Reciprocal altruism implies delayed payoffs by definition. It might therefore seem logical to assume that limited memory, calculation, and planning capacities have constrained the evolution of reciprocity in non-human animals. Here I will argue that this is not the case. First, I will show that the emotional track of past interactions is enough to motivate and maintain reciprocity over longer timespans. Second, I will propose a developmental pathway of this system of emotional bookkeeping. In particular, the neuropeptide modulation underlying mother-infant (...)
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  49. added 2016-02-29
    Was Homo Erectus an Ecological Dominant Species?P. Slurink - 1995 - In John R. F. Bower & S. Sartono (eds.), Evolution and Ecology of Homo erectus. Pithecanthropus Centennial Foundation. pp. 169-176.
    Richard Alexander explains human uniqueness by postulating that at some point an ancestral species became 'ecological dominant' and the external forces of natural selection were replaced by within-species, intergroup competition. It is argued that this transition probably took place in archaic Homo sapiens (Homo heidelbergensis) and not in Homo erectus. Homo erectus was an ecological very flexible species, however.
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  50. added 2016-02-26
    Cooperation and Its Evolution.Fritz J. McDonald - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (8):1253-1255.
    Review of Cooperation and its Evolution, edited by Kim Sterelny, Richard Joyce, Brett Calcott, and Ben Fraser.
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