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  1. Mysteries of Morality.Peter DeScioli & Robert Kurzban - 2009 - Cognition 112 (2):281-299.
    Evolutionary theories of morality, beginning with Darwin, have focused on explanations for altruism. More generally, these accounts have concentrated on conscience to the neglect of condemnation. As a result, few theoretical tools are available for understanding the rapidly accumulating data surrounding third-party judgment and punishment. Here we consider the strategic interactions among actors, victims, and third-parties to help illuminate condemnation. We argue that basic differences between the adaptive problems faced by actors and third-parties indicate that actor conscience and third-party condemnation (...)
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  • The Evolution of Misbelief.Ryan T. McKay & Daniel C. Dennett - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):493.
    From an evolutionary standpoint, a default presumption is that true beliefs are adaptive and misbeliefs maladaptive. But if humans are biologically engineered to appraise the world accurately and to form true beliefs, how are we to explain the routine exceptions to this rule? How can we account for mistaken beliefs, bizarre delusions, and instances of self-deception? We explore this question in some detail. We begin by articulating a distinction between two general types of misbelief: those resulting from a breakdown in (...)
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  • Evolutionary Psychology and Business Ethics Research.Sefa Hayibor - 2009 - Business Ethics Quarterly 19 (4):587-616.
    In this article, we describe evolutionary psychology and its potential contribution to business ethics research. After summarizing evolutionary theory and natural selection, we specifically address the use of evolutionary concepts in psychology in order to offer alternative explanations of behavior relevant to business ethics, such as social exchange, cooperation, altruism, and reciprocity. Our position is that individuals, groups, and organizations all are affected by similar natural, evolutionary processes, such that evolutionary psychology is applicable at multiple levels of analysis (e.g., individual (...)
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  • Is Fair Treatment Enough? Augmenting the Fairness-Based Perspective on Stakeholder Behaviour.Sefa Hayibor - 2017 - Journal of Business Ethics 140 (1):43-64.
    Fairness and justice are core issues in stakeholder theory. Although such considerations receive more attention in the ‘normative’ branch of the stakeholder literature, they have critical implications for ‘instrumental’ stakeholder theory as well. In research in the instrumental vein, although the position has seldom been articulated in significant detail, a stakeholder’s inclination to take action against the firm or, conversely, to cooperate with it, is often taken to be a function of its perceptions concerning the fairness or unfairness of the (...)
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  • Politeness and reputation in cultural evolution.Roland Mühlenbernd, Sławomir Wacewicz & Przemysław Żywiczyński - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-33.
    Politeness in conversation is a fascinating aspect of human interaction that directly interfaces language use and human social behavior more generally. We show how game theory, as a higher-order theory of behavior, can provide the tools to understand and model polite behavior. The recently proposed responsibility exchange theory :313–344, 2019) describes how the polite communications of thanking and apologizing impact two different types of an agent’s social image: warmth and competence. Here, we extend this approach in several ways, most importantly (...)
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  • Explaining human altruism.Michael Vlerick - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    Humans often behave altruistically towards strangers with no chance of reciprocation. From an evolutionary perspective, this is puzzling. The evolution of altruistic cooperative behavior—in which an organism’s action reduces its fitness and increases the fitness of another organism —only makes sense when it is directed at genetically related organisms or when one can expect the favor to be returned. Therefore, evolutionary theorists such as Sober and Wilson have argued that we should revise Neo-Darwininian evolutionary theory. They argue that human altruism (...)
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  • Resource Stress Predicts Changes in Religious Belief and Increases in Sharing Behavior.Ian Skoggard, Carol R. Ember, Emily Pitek, Joshua Conrad Jackson & Christina Carolus - 2020 - Human Nature 31 (3):249-271.
    We examine and test alternative models for explaining the relationships between resource stress, beliefs that gods and spirits influence weather, and customary beyond-household sharing behavior. Our model, the resource stress model, suggests that resource stress affects both sharing as well as conceptions of gods’ involvement with weather, but these supernatural beliefs play no role in explaining sharing. An alternative model, the moralizing high god model, suggests that the relationship between resource stress and sharing is at least partially mediated by religious (...)
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  • Can Development Programs Shape Cooperation?Lucentezza Napitupulu, Jetske Bouma, Sonia Graham & Victoria Reyes-García - 2020 - Human Nature 31 (2):174-195.
    Empirical studies among small-scale societies show that participation in national development programs impact traditional norms of community cooperation. We explore the extent to which varying levels of village and individual involvement in development policies relate to voluntary cooperation within community settings. We used a field experiment conducted in seven villages from an indigenous society in Indonesia known for their strong traditional cooperative norms, the Punan Tubu. We framed the experiment in terms of an ongoing government house-building program. The results indicate (...)
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  • Toward a Macroevolutionary Theory of Human Evolution: The Social Protocell.Claes Andersson & Petter Törnberg - 2019 - Biological Theory 14 (2):86-102.
    Despite remarkable empirical and methodological advances, our theoretical understanding of the evolutionary processes that made us human remains fragmented and contentious. Here, we make the radical proposition that the cultural communities within which Homo emerged may be understood as a novel exotic form of organism. The argument begins from a deep congruence between robust features of Pan community life cycles and protocell models of the origins of life. We argue that if a cultural tradition, meeting certain requirements, arises in the (...)
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  • Global Justice, Reciprocity, and the State.Andrea Sangiovanni - 2007 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 35 (1):3–39.
  • Utilities of Gossip Across Organizational Levels.Kevin M. Kniffin & David Sloan Wilson - 2005 - Human Nature 16 (3):278-292.
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  • Supernaturalizing Social Life.Matt J. Rossano - 2007 - Human Nature 18 (3):272-294.
    This paper examines three ancient traits of religion whose origins likely date back to the Upper Paleolithic: ancestor worship, shamanism, and the belief in natural and animal spirits. Evidence for the emergence of these traits coincides with evidence for a dramatic advance in human social cooperation. It is argued that these traits played a role in the evolution of human cooperation through the mechanism of social scrutiny. Social scrutiny is an effective means of reducing individualism and enhancing prosocial behavior. Religion’s (...)
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  • Engineering Human Cooperation.Terence C. Burnham & Brian Hare - 2007 - Human Nature 18 (2):88-108.
    In a laboratory experiment, we use a public goods game to examine the hypothesis that human subjects use an involuntary eye-detector mechanism for evaluating the level of privacy. Half of our subjects are “watched” by images of a robot presented on their computer screen. The robot—named Kismet and invented at MIT—is constructed from objects that are obviously not human with the exception of its eyes. In our experiment, Kismet produces a significant difference in behavior that is not consistent with existing (...)
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  • Genetic and Cultural Kinship Among the Lamaleran Whale Hunters.Michael Alvard - 2011 - Human Nature 22 (1-2):89-107.
    The human ability to form large, coordinated groups is among our most impressive social adaptations. Larger groups facilitate synergistic economies of scale for cooperative breeding, such economic tasks as group hunting, and success in conflict with other groups. In many organisms, genetic relationships provide the structure for sociality to evolve via the process of kin selection, and this is the case, to a certain extent, for humans. But assortment by genetic affiliation is not the only mechanism that can bring people (...)
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  • How Biology Became Social and What It Means for Social Theory.Maurizio Meloni - 2014 - The Sociological Review 62:593-614.
    In this paper I first offer a systematic outline of a series of conceptual novelties in the life-sciences that have favoured, over the last three decades, the emergence of a more social view of biology. I focus in particular on three areas of investigation: (1) technical changes in evolutionary literature that have provoked a rethinking of the possibility of altruism, morality and prosocial behaviours in evolution; (2) changes in neuroscience, from an understanding of the brain as an isolated data processor (...)
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  • Moralizing Biology: The Appeal and Limits of the New Compassionate View of Nature.Maurizio Meloni - 2013 - History of the Human Sciences 26 (3):82-106.
    In recent years, a proliferation of books about empathy, cooperation and pro-social behaviours (Brooks, 2011a) has significantly influenced the discourse of the life-sciences and reversed consolidated views of nature as a place only for competition and aggression. In this article I describe the recent contribution of three disciplines – moral psychology (Jonathan Haidt), primatology (Frans de Waal) and the neuroscience of morality – to the present transformation of biology and evolution into direct sources of moral phenomena, a process here named (...)
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  • Word vector embeddings hold social ontological relations capable of reflecting meaningful fairness assessments.Ahmed Izzidien - 2021 - AI and Society (March 2021):1-20.
    Programming artificial intelligence to make fairness assessments of texts through top-down rules, bottom-up training, or hybrid approaches, has presented the challenge of defining cross-cultural fairness. In this paper a simple method is presented which uses vectors to discover if a verb is unfair or fair. It uses already existing relational social ontologies inherent in Word Embeddings and thus requires no training. The plausibility of the approach rests on two premises. That individuals consider fair acts those that they would be willing (...)
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  • Moralizing Biology: The Appeal and Limits of the New Compassionate View of Nature.Maurizio Meloni - 2013 - History of the Human Sciences 26 (3):82-106.
    In recent years, a proliferation of books about empathy, cooperation and pro-social behaviours has significantly influenced the discourse of the life-sciences and reversed consolidated views of nature as a place only for competition and aggression. In this article I describe the recent contribution of three disciplines – moral psychology, primatology and the neuroscience of morality – to the present transformation of biology and evolution into direct sources of moral phenomena, a process here named the ‘moralization of biology’. I conclude by (...)
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  • The Contagion of Donation Behaviors Changes Along With the Abatement of the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Intertemporal Survey Experiment.Shuaiqi Li, Xiaoli Liu & Jianbiao Li - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    We conducted an intertemporal online experiment to examine the contagion of others’ positive and negative donation behaviors. We collected two sets of data during and after the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in China. The participants donated to the charitable fund, “Against COVID-19, The China Charity Federation Is on the Move.” We further investigated the mediating effect of social anxiety on the link between the contagion of donation behaviors and the changes in the COVID-19 situation. A total of 1022 participants (...)
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  • The Cultural Evolution of Prosocial Religions.Ara Norenzayan, Azim F. Shariff, Will M. Gervais, Aiyana K. Willard, Rita A. McNamara, Edward Slingerland & Joseph Henrich - 2016 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 39:1-86.
    We develop a cultural evolutionary theory of the origins of prosocial religions and apply it to resolve two puzzles in human psychology and cultural history: the rise of large-scale cooperation among strangers and, simultaneously, the spread of prosocial religions in the last 10–12 millennia. We argue that these two developments were importantly linked and mutually energizing. We explain how a package of culturally evolved religious beliefs and practices characterized by increasingly potent, moralizing, supernatural agents, credible displays of faith, and other (...)
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  • The Conceptual Construction of Altruism: Ernst Fehr’s Experimental Approach to Human Conduct.Mark S. Peacock - 2007 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (1):3-23.
    I offer an appreciation and critique of Ernst Fehr’s altruism research in experimental economics that challenges the "selfishness axiom" as an account of human behavior. I describe examples of Fehr’s experiments and their results and consider his conceptual terminology, particularly his "biological" definition of altruism and its counterintuitive implications. I also look at Fehr’s experiments from a methodological perspective and examine his explanations of subjects’ behavior. In closing, I look at Fehr’s neuroscientific work in experimental economics and question his adherence (...)
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  • Altruistic Punishment in Modern Intentional Communities.Hector Qirko - 2020 - Interaction Studies. Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systemsinteraction Studies / Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systemsinteraction Studies 21 (3):412-427.
    Evolutionists studying human cooperation disagree about how to best explain it. One view is that humans are predisposed to engage in costly cooperation and punishment of free-riders as a result of culture/gene coevolution via group selection. Alternatively, some researchers argue that context-specific cognitive mechanisms associated with traditional neo-Darwinian self- and kin-maximization models sufficiently explain all aspects of human cooperation and punishment. There has been a great deal of research testing predictions derived from both positions; still, researchers generally agree that more (...)
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  • Cooperation and Social Rules Emerging From the Principle of Surprise Minimization.Mattis Hartwig & Achim Peters - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    The surprise minimization principle has been applied to explain various cognitive processes in humans. Originally describing perceptual and active inference, the framework has been applied to different types of decision making including long-term policies, utility maximization and exploration. This analysis extends the application of surprise minimization to a multi-agent setup and shows how it can explain the emergence of social rules and cooperation. We further show that in social decision-making and political policy design, surprise minimization is superior in many aspects (...)
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  • The Moral Trial: On Ethics and Economics.Alessandro Lanteri - 2008 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 1 (1):188-189.
  • Collective Intentionality, Evolutionary Biology and Social Reality.Jack Vromen - 2003 - Philosophical Explorations 6 (3):251-265.
    The paper aims to clarify and scrutinize Searle"s somewhat puzzling statement that collective intentionality is a biologically primitive phenomenon. It is argued that the statement is not only meant to bring out that "collective intentionality" is not further analyzable in terms of individual intentionality. It also is meant to convey that we have a biologically evolved innate capacity for collective intentionality.The paper points out that Searle"s dedication to a strong notion of collective intentionality considerably delimits the scope of his endeavor. (...)
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  • Altruists with Green Beards.Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher - 2005 - Analyse & Kritik 27 (1):73-84.
    If cooperative dispositions are associated with unique phenotypic features , cooperative individuals can be identi ed. Therefore, cooperative individuals can avoid exploitation by defectors by cooperating exclusively with other cooperative individuals; consequently, cooperators ourish and defectors die out. Experimental evidence suggests that subjects, who are given the opportunity to make promises in face-to-face interactions, are indeed able to predict the partner's behavior better than chance in a subsequent Prisoners' Dilemma. This evidence has been interpreted as evidence in favor of green (...)
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  • The Biological and Evolutionary Logic of Human Cooperation.Terence C. Burnham & Dominic D. P. Johnson - 2005 - Analyse & Kritik 27 (2):113-135.
    Human cooperation is held to be an evolutionary puzzle because people voluntarily engage in costly cooperation, and costly punishment of non-cooperators, even among anonymous strangers they will never meet again. The costs of such cooperation cannot be recovered through kin-selection, reciprocal altruism, indirect reciprocity, or costly signaling. A number of recent authors label this behavior "strong reciprocity", and argue that it is: a newly documented aspect of human nature, adaptive, and evolved by group selection. We argue exactly the opposite; that (...)
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  • Social Relations Instead of Altruistic Punishment.Anton Leist - 2005 - Analyse & Kritik 27 (1):158-171.
    Ernst Fehr's experimental research on altruistic behaviour aims at superseding the classical homo oeconomicus in micro-economic behaviour theory. This essay discusses Fehr's results from two points of view: rst, in regard to the understanding of social action associated with the term "altruism"; second, in regard to the 'anthropological' strategy of research that is based on the laboratory method. Against the emphasis on altruism it will be argued that it misleads into providing a distorted description of social acting, and that, due (...)
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  • Human Altruism–Proximate Patterns and Evolutionary Origins.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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  • Prosocial Personality Traits Differentially Predict Egalitarianism, Generosity, and Reciprocity in Economic Games.Kun Zhao, Eamonn Ferguson & Luke D. Smillie - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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  • Ecology of Freedom: Competitive Tests of the Role of Pathogens, Climate, and Natural Disasters in the Development of Socio-Political Freedom.Kodai Kusano & Markus Kemmelmeier - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • Are Humans Too Generous and Too Punitive? Using Psychological Principles to Further Debates About Human Social Evolution.Max M. Krasnow & Andrew W. Delton - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
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  • Sharing and Giving Across Adolescence: An Experimental Study Examining the Development of Prosocial Behavior.Berna GüroÄŸlu, Wouter van den Bos & Eveline A. Crone - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychology 5.
  • How Selfish is Memory for Cheaters? Evidence for Moral and Egoistic Biases.Raoul Bell, Cécile Schain & Gerald Echterhoff - 2014 - Cognition 132 (3):437-442.
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  • Costly Third-Party Punishment in Young Children.Katherine McAuliffe, Jillian J. Jordan & Felix Warneken - 2015 - Cognition 134:1-10.
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  • When Do We Punish People Who Don’T?Justin W. Martin, Jillian J. Jordan, David G. Rand & Fiery Cushman - 2019 - Cognition 193:104040.
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  • Capuchin Monkeys Judge Third-Party Reciprocity.James R. Anderson, Ayaka Takimoto, Hika Kuroshima & Kazuo Fujita - 2013 - Cognition 127 (1):140-146.
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  • The Evolution and Development of Human Cooperation.Federica Amici - 2015 - Interaction Studies. Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systemsinteraction Studies / Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systemsinteraction Studies 16 (3):383-418.
    Humans have attained an unparalleled level of sophistication when engaging in collaborative and cooperative activities. Remarkably, the skills and motivation to engage in complex forms of collaboration and cooperation seem to emerge early on during infancy and childhood. In this paper, I extensively review the literature on the evolution and development of human cooperation, emphasizing important aspects of inter-cultural variation in collaborative and cooperative behaviour. This will not only allow us to confront the different evolutionary scenarios in which cooperation may (...)
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  • The Evolution and Development of Human Cooperation.Federica Amici - 2015 - Interaction Studies 16 (3):383-418.
    Humans have attained an unparalleled level of sophistication when engaging in collaborative and cooperative activities. Remarkably, the skills and motivation to engage in complex forms of collaboration and cooperation seem to emerge early on during infancy and childhood. In this paper, I extensively review the literature on the evolution and development of human cooperation, emphasizing important aspects of inter-cultural variation in collaborative and cooperative behaviour. This will not only allow us to confront the different evolutionary scenarios in which cooperation may (...)
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  • Potentials of Cooperation.Anton Leist - 2011 - Analyse & Kritik 33 (1):7-33.
    Since Hobbes' Leviathan was published in 1651, the 'problem of order' has been known for some time. Despite this long gestation period for social theory even today we do not have a universally agreed upon answer to this 'problem'. One of the reasons behind this lacuna may be the overly dispersed work being done in the economic and sociological traditions. Whereas one tradition favours 'collective action' as a central answer, the other thinks of the problem itself being dissolved by the (...)
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  • Norms and Rationality. Is Moral Behavior a Form of Rational Action?Karl-Dieter Opp - 2013 - Theory and Decision 74 (3):383-409.
    This article addresses major arguments in the controversy about the “rationality” of moral behavior: can moral behavior be explained by rational choice theory? The two positions discussed are the incentives thesis and the autonomy thesis claiming that moral behavior has nothing to do with utility. The article analyses arguments for the autonomy thesis by J. Elster, A. Etzioni, and J. G. March and J. P. Olsen. Finally, the general claim is discussed whether norm following and norm emergence are utility maximizing. (...)
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  • Advantages of Student Subjects: What is Your Research Question?Simon Gächter - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):92-93.
    I argue that the right choice of subject pool is intimately linked to the research question. At least within economics, students are often the perfect subject pool for answering some fundamental research questions. Student subject pools can provide an invaluable benchmark for investigating generalizability across different social groups or cultures.
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  • Human Engineering and Climate Change.S. Matthew Liao, Anders Sandberg & Rebecca Roache - 2012 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 15 (2):206 - 221.
    Anthropogenic climate change is arguably one of the biggest problems that confront us today. There is ample evidence that climate change is likely to affect adversely many aspects of life for all people around the world, and that existing solutions such as geoengineering might be too risky and ordinary behavioural and market solutions might not be sufficient to mitigate climate change. In this paper, we consider a new kind of solution to climate change, what we call human engineering, which involves (...)
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  • Are ‘Optimistic’ Theories of Criminal Justice Psychologically Feasible? The Probative Case of Civic Republicanism.Victoria McGeer & Friederike Funk - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (3):523-544.
    ‘Optimistic’ normative theories of criminal justice aim to justify criminal sanction in terms of its reprobative/rehabilitative value rather than its punitive nature as such. But do such theories accord with ordinary intuitions about what constitutes a ‘just’ response to wrongdoing? Recent empirical work on the psychology of punishers suggests that human beings have a ‘brutely retributive’ moral psychology, making them unlikely to endorse normative theories that sacrifice retribution for the sake of reprobation or rehabilitation; it would mean, for example, that (...)
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  • False Beliefs and Naive Beliefs: They Can Be Good for You.Roberto Casati & Marco Bertamini - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):512-513.
    Naive physics beliefs can be systematically mistaken. They provide a useful test-bed because they are common, and also because their existence must rely on some adaptive advantage, within a given context. In the second part of the commentary we also ask questions about when a whole family of misbeliefs should be considered together as a single phenomenon.
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  • The Sacrifice and the Reciprocity-Programme in Religious Rituals and in Man's Everyday Interactions.Henrik Høgh-Olesen - 2006 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 6 (3-4):499-519.
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  • The Role of Tacit Knowing in Adherence to Social Norms.Ozgur Aydogmus, Hasan Cagatay, Erkan Gürpinar & Fuat Oguz - 2017 - Filosofia Unisinos 18 (3):140-145.
    This paper aims to contribute to the ongoing discussion on adherence to social norms. It considers insights from multiple research traditions in an effort to explain how individual learning and action are connected to social norms. One strand of philosophical tradition holds that non-representational learning and skillful coping carried out unconsciously are underestimated by both scientific and philosophical traditions. The present research combines this tradition with the literature on the evolution of social norms and suggests that experienced individuals in a (...)
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  • 'Animal Behavioural Economics': Lessons Learnt From Primate Research.Manuel Worsdorfer - 2015 - Economic Thought 4 (1):80-106.
    The paper gives an overview of primate research and the economic-ethical 'lessons' we can derive from it. In particular, it examines the complex, multi-faceted and partially conflicting nature of human primates. Our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees and bonobos, apparently walk on two legs: a selfish and a groupish leg. Given evolutionary continuity and gradualism between monkeys, apes and humans, human primates seem to be bipolar apes as well. They, too, tend to display a dual structure: there seems to be (...)
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  • “Economic Man” in Cross-Cultural Perspective: Behavioral Experiments in 15 Small-Scale Societies.Joseph Henrich, Robert Boyd, Samuel Bowles, Colin Camerer, Ernst Fehr, Herbert Gintis, Richard McElreath, Michael Alvard, Abigail Barr, Jean Ensminger, Natalie Smith Henrich, Kim Hill, Francisco Gil-White, Michael Gurven, Frank W. Marlowe & John Q. Patton - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (6):795-815.
    Researchers from across the social sciences have found consistent deviations from the predictions of the canonical model of self-interest in hundreds of experiments from around the world. This research, however, cannot determine whether the uniformity results from universal patterns of human behavior or from the limited cultural variation available among the university students used in virtually all prior experimental work. To address this, we undertook a cross-cultural study of behavior in ultimatum, public goods, and dictator games in a range of (...)
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  • On the Adaptive Advantage of Always Being Right (Even When One is Not).Nathalia L. Gjersoe & Bruce M. Hood - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (6):521-522.
    We propose another positive illusion that fits with McKay & Dennett's (M&D's) criteria for adaptive misbeliefs. This illusion is pervasive in adult reasoning but we focus on its prevalence in children's developing theories. It is a strongly held conviction arising from normal functioning of the doxastic system that confers adaptive advantage on the individual.
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