An Evolutionary Paradox for Prosocial Behavior

Journal of Philosophy 111 (3):151-166 (2014)
We investigate how changes to the payoffs of cooperative behavior affect the evolutionary dynamics. Paradoxically, the larger the benefits of cooperation, the less likely it is to evolve. This holds true even in cases where cooperation is strictly dominant. Increasing the benefits from prosocial behavior has two effects: first, in some circumstances it promotes the evolution of spite; and second, it can decrease the strength of selection leading to nearly neutral evolution of strategies. In light of these results we must reevaluate standard philosophical perspectives on the evolution of cooperation and morality.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0022-362X  
DOI 10.5840/jphil201411139
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,934
External links

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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Conventional Semantic Meaning in Signalling Games with Conflicting Interests.Elliott O. Wagner - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (4):751-773.
Evolution and the Classification of Social Behavior.Patrick Forber & Rory Smead - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (3):405-421.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Peer Assessment of Children's Prosocial Behaviour.Susan Hayes Greener - 2000 - Journal of Moral Education 29 (1):47-60.
Young Children Enforce Social Norms.Marco F. H. Schmidt & Michael Tomasello - 2012 - Current Directions in Psychological Science 21 (4):232-236.
Empathy, Sympathy and Prosocial Preferences in Primates.Joan B. Silk - 2009 - In Robin Dunbar & Louise Barrett (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology. Oxford University Press.
Unethical Demand and Employee Turnover.Lamar Pierce & Jason A. Snyder - 2015 - Journal of Business Ethics 131 (4):853-869.
Added to PP index

Total downloads
44 ( #130,511 of 2,214,209 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #411,237 of 2,214,209 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature