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  1. added 2019-03-06
    Altruistic Deception.Jonathan Birch - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 74:27-33.
    Altruistic deception (or the telling of “white lies”) is common in humans. Does it also exist in non-human animals? On some definitions of deception, altruistic deception is impossible by definition, whereas others make it too easy by counting useful-but-ambiguous information as deceptive. I argue for a definition that makes altruistic deception possible in principle without trivializing it. On my proposal, deception requires the strategic exploitation of a receiver by a sender, where “exploitation” implies that the sender elicits a behaviour in (...)
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  2. added 2019-02-24
    The Transient Suppression of the Worst Devils of Our Nature—a Review of Steven Pinker’s ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined’(2012)(Review Revised 2019).Michael Starks - 2019 - In Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century -- Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization -- Articles and Reviews 2006-2019 4th Edition Michael Starks. pp. 358-363.
    This is not a perfect book, but it is unique, and if you skim the first 400 or so pages, the last 300 (of some 700) are a pretty good attempt to apply what's known about behavior to social changes in violence and manners over time. The basic topic is: how does our genetics control and limit social change? Surprisingly he fails to describe the nature of kin selection (inclusive fitness) which explains much of animal and human social life. He (...)
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  3. added 2018-12-17
    Kin Selection: A Philosophical Analysis.Jonathan Birch - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Cambridge
    This dissertation examines the conceptual and theoretical foundations of the most general and most widely used framework for understanding social evolution, W. D. Hamilton's theory of kin selection. While the core idea is intuitive enough (when organisms share genes, they sometimes have an evolutionary incentive to help one another), its apparent simplicity masks a host of conceptual subtleties, and the theory has proved a perennial source of controversy in evolutionary biology. To move towards a resolution of these controversies, we need (...)
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  4. added 2018-02-17
    Violence in the Prehistoric Period of Japan: The Spatio-Temporal Pattern of Skeletal Evidence for Violence in the Jomon Period.Nakao Hisashi, Kohei Tamura, Yui Arimatsu, Tomomi Nakagawa, Naoko Matsumoto & Takehiko Matsugi - 2016 - Biology Letters 12:20160847.
    Whether man is predisposed to lethal violence, ranging from homicide to warfare, and how that may have impacted human evolution, are among the most controversial topics of debate on human evolution. Although recent studies on the evolution of warfare have been based on various archaeological and ethnographic data, they have reported mixed results: it is unclear whether or not warfare among prehistoric hunter–gatherers was common enough to be a component of human nature and a selective pressure for the evolution of (...)
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  5. added 2018-02-16
    Evolution and Moral Diversity.Tim Dean - 2012 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 7:1-16.
    If humans have an evolved moral psychology, then we should not expect it to function in an identical way between individuals. Instead, we should expect a diversity in the function of our moral psychology between individuals that varies along genetic lines, and a corresponding diversity of moral attitudes and moral judgements that emerge from it. This is because there was no one psychological type that would reliably produce adaptive social behaviour in the highly heterogeneous environments in which our minds evolved. (...)
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  6. added 2017-02-07
    Introduction: The Biology of Psychological Altruism.Justin Garson & Armin W. Schulz - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 56:1-2.
    I develop a distinction between two types of psychological hedonism. Inferential hedonism (or “I-hedonism”) holds that each person only has ultimate desires regarding his or her own hedonic states (pleasure and pain). Reinforcement hedonism (or “R–hedonism”) holds that each person's ultimate desires, whatever their contents are, are differentially reinforced in that person’s cognitive system only by virtue of their association with hedonic states. I’ll argue that accepting R-hedonism and rejecting I-hedonism provides a conciliatory position on the traditional altruism debate, and (...)
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  7. added 2016-12-02
    Kamikazes and Cultural Evolution.Sean Allen-Hermanson - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Biological and Biomedical Sciences 61:11-19.
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  8. added 2016-06-26
    Editorial: Parochial Altruism – Pitfalls and Prospects.Hannes Rusch, Robert Böhm & Benedikt Herrmann - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology 7.
    The ten original studies included in this Research Topic investigate selected assumptions and predictions of parochial altruism theory in detail. We, the editors, are convinced that their highly instructive findings will help researchers interested in parochial altruism, but also in intergroup psychology more generally, to gain a much more fine-grained understanding of the interplay of altruistic and spiteful motives in human decision making in the context of intergroup relations. The broad range of disciplines represented by the authors contributing to this (...)
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  9. added 2016-02-26
    Cooperation and Its Evolution.Fritz J. McDonald - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (8):1253-1255.
    Review of Cooperation and its Evolution, edited by Kim Sterelny, Richard Joyce, Brett Calcott, and Ben Fraser.
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  10. added 2015-08-24
    Pathways to Pluralism About Biological Individuality.Beckett Sterner - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (5):609-628.
    What are the prospects for a monistic view of biological individuality given the multiple epistemic roles the concept must satisfy? In this paper, I examine the epistemic adequacy of two recent accounts based on the capacity to undergo natural selection. One is from Ellen Clarke, and the other is by Peter Godfrey-Smith. Clarke’s position reflects a strong monism, in that she aims to characterize individuality in purely functional terms and refrains from privileging any specific material properties as important in their (...)
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  11. added 2013-11-13
    The Altruism Paradox: A Consequence of Mistaken Genetic Modeling.Yussif Yakubu - 2013 - Biological Theory 8 (1):103-113.
    The theoretical heuristic of assuming distinct alleles (or genotypes) for alternative phenotypes is the foundation of the paradigm of evolutionary explanation we call the Modern Synthesis. In modeling the evolution of sociality, the heuristic has been to set altruism and selfishness as alternative phenotypes under distinct genotypes, which has been dubbed the “phenotypic gambit.” The prevalence of the altruistic genotype that is of lower evolutionary fitness relative to the alternative genotype for non-altruistic behavior in populations is the basis of the (...)
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  12. added 2013-06-01
    Ecological Dominance and the Final Sprint in Hominid Evolution.Pouwel Slurink - 1993 - Human Evolution.
    In contrast to many other models of human evolution the "balance of power" theory of Alexander has a clear answer to the question why a runaway selection process for unique social and moral capacities occurred in our ancestry only and not in other species: "ecological dominance" is hypothesized to have diminished the effects of "extrinsic" forces of natural selection such that within-species, intergroup competition increased (Alexander, 1989). Alexander seems to be wrong, however, in his claim that already the common HUCHIBO (...)
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  13. added 2013-03-28
    Giochi di altruismo. L'approccio evoluzionistico alla cooperazione umana.Gustavo Cevolani & Roberto Festa - 2012 - In Matt Ridley (ed.), Le Origini della Virtù. IBL Libri. pp. 7--38.
    This is the introductory essay to the Italian translation of Matt Ridley's "The origins of virtue", surveying the game-theoretic and evolutionary approaches to the emergence and evolution of cooperation and altruism.
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  14. added 2012-10-10
    Modeling Social and Evolutionary Games.Angela Potochnik - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):202-208.
    When game theory was introduced to biology, the components of classic game theory models were replaced with elements more befitting evolutionary phenomena. The actions of intelligent agents are replaced by phenotypic traits; utility is replaced by fitness; rational deliberation is replaced by natural selection. In this paper, I argue that this classic conception of comprehensive reapplication is misleading, for it overemphasizes the discontinuity between human behavior and evolved traits. Explicitly considering the representational roles of evolutionary game theory brings to attention (...)
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  15. added 2012-10-10
    La Moral y Sus Sombras: La Racionalidad Instrumental y la Evolución de Las Normas de Equidad (Morality and its Shadows: Instrumental Rationality and the Evolution of Fairness Norms).Alejandro Rosas - 2005 - Critica 37 (110):79 - 104.
    Los sociobiólogos han defendido una posición "calvinista" que se resume en la siguiente fórmula: si la selección natural explica las actitudes morales, no hay altruismo genuino en la moral; si la moral es altruista, entonces la selección natural no puede explicarla. En este ensayo desenmascaro los presupuestos erróneos de esta posición y defiendo que el altruismo como equidad no es incompatible con la selección natural. Rechazo una concepción hobbesiana de la moral, pero sugiero su empleo en la interpretación de la (...)
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  16. added 2012-07-20
    Oyun: A New, Free Program for Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma Tournaments in the Classroom.Charles H. Pence & Lara Buchak - 2012 - Evolution Education and Outreach 5 (3):467-476.
    Evolutionary applications of game theory present one of the most pedagogically accessible varieties of genuine, contemporary theoretical biology. We present here Oyun (OY-oon, http://charlespence.net/oyun), a program designed to run iterated prisoner’s dilemma tournaments, competitions between prisoner’s dilemma strategies developed by the students themselves. Using this software, students are able to readily design and tweak their own strategies, and to see how they fare both in round-robin tournaments and in “evolutionary” tournaments, where the scores in a given “generation” directly determine contribution (...)
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  17. added 2011-12-16
    Altruism - a Philosophical Analysis.Christine Clavien & Michel Chapuisat - 2012 - eLS.
    Altruism is a malleable notion that is understood differently in various disciplines. The common denominator of most definitions of altruism is the idea of unidirectional helping behaviour. However, a closer examination reveals that the term altruism sometimes refers to the outcomes of a helping behaviour for the agent and its neighbours – i.e. reproductive altruism – and sometimes to what motivates the agent to help others – i.e. psychological altruism. Since these perspectives on altruism are crucially different, it is important (...)
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  18. added 2010-05-24
    Psychological Altruism Vs. Biological Altruism: Narrowing the Gap with the Baldwin Effect.Mahesh Ananth - 2005 - Acta Biotheoretica 53 (3):217-239.
    This paper defends the position that the supposed gap between biological altruism and psychological altruism is not nearly as wide as some scholars (e.g., Elliott Sober) insist. Crucial to this defense is the use of James Mark Baldwin's concepts of “organic selection”and “social heredity” to assist in revealing that the gap between biological and psychological altruism is more of a small lacuna. Specifically, this paper argues that ontogenetic behavioral adjustments, which are crucial to individual survival and reproduction, are also crucial (...)
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