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  1. Explaining human altruism.Michael Vlerick - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    Humans often behave altruistically towards strangers with no chance of reciprocation. From an evolutionary perspective, this is puzzling. The evolution of altruistic cooperative behavior—in which an organism’s action reduces its fitness and increases the fitness of another organism —only makes sense when it is directed at genetically related organisms or when one can expect the favor to be returned. Therefore, evolutionary theorists such as Sober and Wilson have argued that we should revise Neo-Darwininian evolutionary theory. They argue that human altruism (...)
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  • Runaway Social Selection for Displays of Partner Value and Altruism.Randolph M. Nesse - 2007 - Biological Theory 2 (2):143-155.
    Runaway social selection resulting from partner choice may have shaped aspects of human cooperation and complex sociality that are otherwise hard to account for. Social selection is the subtype of natural selection that results from the social behaviors of other individuals. Competition to be chosen as a social partner can, like competition to be chosen as a mate, result in runaway selection that shapes extreme traits. People prefer partners who display valuable resources and bestow them selectively on close partners. The (...)
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  • The Scientific Perspective on Moral Objectivity.Catherine Wilson - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (4):723-736.
    The naturalistic approach to metaethics is sometimes identified with a supervenience theory relating moral properties to underlying descriptive properties, thereby securing the possibility of objective knowledge in morality as in chemistry. I reject this approach along with the purely anthropological approach which leads to an objectionable form of relativism. There is no single method for arriving at moral objectivity any more than there is a single method that has taken us from alchemy to modern chemistry. Rather, there is an ensemble (...)
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  • Altruistic Emotional Motivation: An Argument in Favour of Psychological Altruism.Christine Clavien - 2012 - In Katie Plaisance & Thomas Reydon (eds.), Boston Studies in Philosophy of Science. Springer Press.
    In this paper, I reframe the long-standing controversy between ‘psychological egoism’, which argues that human beings never perform altruistic actions, and the opposing thesis of ‘psychological altruism’, which claims that human beings are, at least sometimes, capable of acting in an altruistic fashion. After a brief sketch of the controversy, I begin by presenting some representative arguments in favour of psychological altruism before showing that they can all be called into question by appealing to the idea of an unconscious self-directed (...)
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