Psychological and evolutionary evidence for altruism

Biology and Philosophy 17 (1):93-107 (2002)
Sober and Wilson have recently claimed that evolutionary theory can do what neither philosophy nor experimental psychology have been able to, namely, "break the deadlock" in the egoism vs. altruism debate with an argument based on the reliability of altruistic motivation. I analyze both their reliability argument and the experimental evidence of social psychology in favor of altruism in terms of the folk-psychological "laws" and inference patterns underlying them, and conclude that they both rely on the same patterns. I expose the confusions that have led Sober and Wilson to defend a reliability argument while rejecting the experimental evidence of social psychology.
Keywords altruism  egoism
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DOI 10.1023/A:1012967912103
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Joshua May (2011). Egoism, Empathy, and Self-Other Merging. Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1):25-39.
Alejandro Rosas (2004). Mind Reading, Deception and the Evolution of Kantian Moral Agents. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 34 (2):127–139.

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Stephen Stich, John M. Doris & Erica Roedder (2010). Altruism. In John M. Doris & The Moral Psychology Research Group (eds.), The Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press.
Dale Jamieson (2002). Sober and Wilson on Psychological Altruism. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (3):702–710.
C. Daniel Batson (2000). Unto Others: A Service... And a Disservice. Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (1-2):207-210.

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