The return of reciprocity: A psychological approach to the evolution of cooperation

Biology and Philosophy 23 (4):555-566 (2008)
Recent developments in evolutionary game theory argue the superiority of punishment over reciprocity as accounts of large-scale human cooperation. I introduce a distinction between a behavioral and a psychological perspective on reciprocity and punishment to question this view. I examine a narrow and a wide version of a psychological mechanism for reciprocity and conclude that a narrow version is clearly distinguishable from punishment, but inadequate for humans; whereas a wide version is applicable to humans but indistinguishable from punishment. The mechanism for reciprocity in humans emerges as a meta-norm that governs both retaliation and punishment. I make predictions open to empirical investigation to confirm or disconfirm this view.
Keywords Philosophy   Evolutionary Biology   Philosophy of Biology
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-007-9065-y
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Social Norms and Human Cooperation.Ernst Fehr & Urs Fischbacher - 2004 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 (4):185-190.

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The Social Brain and the Myth of Empathy.Allan Young - 2012 - Science in Context 25 (3):401-424.

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