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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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  • The Evolution of Social Contracts.Michael Vlerick - 2019 - Journal of Social Ontology 5 (2):181-203.
    Influential thinkers such as Young, Sugden, Binmore, and Skyrms have developed game-theoretic accounts of the emergence, persistence and evolution of social contracts. Social contracts are sets of commonly understood rules that govern cooperative social interaction within societies. These naturalistic accounts provide us with valuable and important insights into the foundations of human societies. However, current naturalistic theories focus mainly on how social contracts solve coordination problems in which the interests of the individual participants are aligned, not competition problems in which (...)
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