The importance of social learning in the evolution of cooperation and communication

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):283-284 (2002)
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The new emphasis that Rachlin gives to social learning is welcome, because its role in the emergence of altruism and communication is often underestimated. However, Rachlin's account is underspecified and therefore not satisfactory. I argue that recent computational models of the evolution of language show an alternative approach and present an appealing perspective on the evolution and acquisition of a complex, altruistic behavior like syntactic language.



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