An Evolutionary Paradox for Prosocial Behavior

Journal of Philosophy 111 (3):151-166 (2014)
Authors
Patrick Forber
Tufts University
Rory Smead
Northeastern University
Abstract
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
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ISBN(s) 0022-362X  
DOI 10.5840/jphil201411139
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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.

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