Inclusive Fitness and the Maximizing-Agent Analogy

Abstract
ABSTRACT In social evolution theory, biological individuals are often represented on the model of rational agents, that is, as if they were ‘seeking’ to maximize their own reproductive success. In the 1990s, important criticisms of this mode of thinking were made by Brian Skyrms and Elliott Sober, who both argued that ‘rational agent’ models can lead to incorrect predictions when there are positive correlations between individuals’ phenotypes. In this article, I argue that one model of rational choice—namely, Savage’s model —can actually be vindicated in evolutionary biology, provided that the pay-offs are computed in inclusive fitness terms. I also show that the use of this model is better avoided when pay-offs are non-additive, or when certain causal influences affect the outcome of natural selection. The result is a partial rehabilitation of this mode of thinking, conditional on both the additivity of the pay-off structure and the absence of any form of manipulation or coercion. _1_ Introduction _2_ When Natural Selection and Rational Deliberation Part Ways _3_ A Simple Solution: Redefining the Pay-offs in Inclusive Fitness Terms _4_ Sober on Inclusive Fitness Maximization _5_ Inclusive Fitness with Non-additive Pay-offs _6_ Causal Influences and the Savage– Hamilton Model _6.1_ Reciprocity and partner choice _6.2_ Coercion and manipulation _7_ Conclusion Appendix
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axw003
Options
 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: 31,334
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
Causal Decision Theory.David Lewis - 1981 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59 (1):5 – 30.
Counterfactuals.D. Lewis - 1973 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 27 (4):403-405.
The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1959 - Synthese 11 (1):86-89.
Conditional Excluded Middle Without the Limit Assumption.Eric Swanson - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):301-321.
Prisoners' Dilemma is a Newcomb Problem.David Lewis - 1979 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 8 (3):235-240.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Hamilton’s Two Conceptions of Social Fitness.Jonathan Birch - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):848-860.
Inclusive Fitness and the Sociobiology of the Genome.Herbert Gintis - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (4):477-515.
Formal Darwinism.Sahotra Sarkar - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (2):249-257.
Can Fitness Differences Be a Cause of Evolution?Grant Ramsey - 2013 - Philosophy and Theory in Biology 5 (20130604).
Social Revolution. [REVIEW]Birch Jonathan - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (4):571-581.
Collective Action in the Fraternal Transitions.Jonathan Birch - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (3):363-380.
Added to PP index
2016-06-30

Total downloads
20 ( #278,139 of 2,224,474 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
12 ( #35,615 of 2,224,474 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature