Philosophy of Science 60 (4):568-586 (1993)

Authors
Anthony F. Peressini
Marquette University
Abstract
Although accounts of evolutionary altruism which leave the question of whether altruism can evolve in nature open to empirical confirmation/refutation have been worked out for special (two-trait) cases, no real effort has been made to work out such accounts for general (N-trait) cases. It is tempting to take this lack of attention as evidence for an inextricably conventional element, which precludes such accounts from being of practical scientific value. I argue that such accounts do generalize in a natural way. As is often the case in science, generalizing theoretically simplified notions is not straightforward because of issues hidden in the special case. These issues do not, however, turn out to be essentially conventional
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DOI 10.1086/289760
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