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Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior

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... These authors dismiss Weismann's (1891) argument "because it relies on group selection, which normally is much weaker than selection at the level of the individual , and it is circular in the way that it assumes that older individuals who do not age are generally worn out (Medawar 1952)" (Kowald & Kirkwood 2016). Yet, these authors ignore that multilevel selection (i.e., individual and group selection combined) has received broad support (e.g., Gilpin 1975;Wilson 1983;Sober & Wilson 1998;Gould 2002;Okasha 2006;Bijma et al. 2007;Godfrey-Smith 2009;Borrello 2010;Calcott & Sterelny 2011;Nowak & Highfield 2011;Wilson EO 2012;van Vliet & Doebeli 2019;Hertler et al. 2020;Cameron et al. 2021;Henriques et al. 2021). Hemelrijk (2002), for example, wrote: "The assumption that evolution occurs through a single evolutionary process is no longer tenable (e.g., see Plotkin & Odling-Smee 1981), and multiple-level selection theories have slowly become more accepted (e.g., Hogeweg 1994;Mitteldorf & Wilson 2000). ...
... Hemelrijk (2002), for example, wrote: "The assumption that evolution occurs through a single evolutionary process is no longer tenable (e.g., see Plotkin & Odling-Smee 1981), and multiple-level selection theories have slowly become more accepted (e.g., Hogeweg 1994;Mitteldorf & Wilson 2000). Multiple-level selection processes may include some, or all, of the following factors: the multi-level character of biological systems and natural selection operating on them (Lewontin 1970;Hogeweg 1994;Sober & Wilson 1998), self-organization and its consequences for evolution (Boerlijst & Hogeweg 1991), and nonlinear genotypephenotype mappings (Kauffman 1993;Huynen & Hogeweg 1994;Kauffman 1995)." At least Aubrey de Grey, one of the proponents of the ETAs, conceded in a recent review (2015) "while some mechanisms classed as group selection are broadly agreed by evolutionary biologists to contravene the basic principles of natural selection, others -notably the "multi-level selection" concept based on the Price equation (Sober & Wilson 1998) -are equally broadly agreed not to, at least in the context of "population viscosity" whereby more closely-related individuals are more likely to be competing for the same resources. ...
... Multiple-level selection processes may include some, or all, of the following factors: the multi-level character of biological systems and natural selection operating on them (Lewontin 1970;Hogeweg 1994;Sober & Wilson 1998), self-organization and its consequences for evolution (Boerlijst & Hogeweg 1991), and nonlinear genotypephenotype mappings (Kauffman 1993;Huynen & Hogeweg 1994;Kauffman 1995)." At least Aubrey de Grey, one of the proponents of the ETAs, conceded in a recent review (2015) "while some mechanisms classed as group selection are broadly agreed by evolutionary biologists to contravene the basic principles of natural selection, others -notably the "multi-level selection" concept based on the Price equation (Sober & Wilson 1998) -are equally broadly agreed not to, at least in the context of "population viscosity" whereby more closely-related individuals are more likely to be competing for the same resources. […] All in all, it is far from clear whether programmed aging theory really butts heads with that aspect of evolutionary theory. ...
... Much of the other modern scientiic work on religion comes from cognitive scientists (Lawson and McCauley 1990;Guthrie 1993) and psychologists (Bering 2002(Bering , 2011Barrett 2004;Norenzayan 2013) to name but a few. Wilson's treatment of religion is strictly evolutionary 2 and has served to further illustrate his fascination with the evolution of altruism and multi-level selectionist explanations of it (Sober and Wilson 1998). The problem of altruism with which Wilson has been concerned, is that within a world of selish individuals, costly altruistic behaviour should not evolve. ...
... Therefore, regardless of its sophisticated evolutionary logic and contemporary neo-Darwinian language, there have been similar cooperative-social theories from a number of thinkers prior to Sober and Wilson (1998); and Wilson (2002). ...
Article
This paper critically supports the modern evolutionary explanation of religion popularised by David Sloan Wilson, by comparing it with those of his predecessors, namely Emile Durkheim and Thomas Hobbes, and to some biological examples which seem analogous to religions as kinds of superorganisms in their own right. The aim of the paper is to draw out a theoretical pedigree in philosophy and sociology that is reflected down the lines of various other evolutionarily minded contributors on the subject of religion. The general theme is of evolved large-scale cooperative structures. A scholarly concern is as follows: Wilson (Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, And The Nature Of Society, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2002) draws on Durkheim, (The elementary forms of religious life. Free Press, New york, 1912) using Calvinism as an example without mentioning Hobbes (Leviathan, Edited by E. Curley, Cambridge, Hackett, 1651), but it was Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) who used Calvinism as an example of a leviathanesque religious structure—which is not acknowledged by either Wilson or Durkheim. If there are even any similarities between these authors, there appears to be an omission somewhere which should rightly be accounted for by giving credit to Hobbes where it is due. I issue on conclusion, what it is that makes Wilson’s approach radically different to that it skates on. I also issue it with a cautionary word.
... Unlike the imagine-other perspective, the imagine-self perspective is likely to elicit empathic distress in addition to empathic concern, possibly because we feel more personally involved (Batson 2011;Jackson et al. 2006;Lamm et al. 2007). Because perspective-taking is a process that we can often control and choose to get into, participants in empirical studies are often instructed to take someone's perspective in order to elicit in them affective empathy or empathic concern (Batson 2011;Sober and Wilson 1999). ...
... To avoid misunderstanding, physicians need to remember that their understanding can be wrong (Nakar et al. 2007;Quirt et al. 1997) and should develop the habit of sharing their understanding to the patient and ask if it is accurate. Furthermore, if they see that affective empathy or empathic concern would be helpful but they are not spontaneously feeling it, they can actively try to take the patient's perspective to try to elicit those feelings (Sober and Wilson 1999). ...
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Physician empathy is considered essential for good clinical care. Empirical evidence shows that it correlates with better patient satisfaction, compliance, and clinical outcomes. These data have nevertheless been criticized because of a lack of consistency and reliability. In this paper, we claim that these issues partly stem from the widespread idealization of empathy: we mistakenly assume that physician empathy always contributes to good care. This has prevented us from agreeing on a definition of empathy, from understanding the effects of its different components and from exploring its limits. This is problematic because physicians’ ignorance of the risks of empathy and of strategies to manage them can impact their work and wellbeing negatively. To address this problem, we explore the effects of the potential components of empathy and argue that it should be conceived as a purely descriptive and wide term. We end by discussing implications for medical education.
... " Yet, and as underlined above with reference to Fligstein and McAdam (2012), humans not only act to improve their material conditions but also to collaborate in meaning-making with others. Individuals rely on a plurality of logics of action that includes but also transcends mere logics of self-interest (Passy 2013;Sorber and Wilson 1998;Terestchenko 2004). 3 Today, the concept of self-interest features less frequently in the study of social movements. ...
... Monism fails to grasp the complexity of the human mind and the various motivational springs that allow an individual to act. In line with other scholars (e.g., Sen 1990;Sorber and Wilson 1998;Passy 2013), we claim that a plurality of logics sets a person's intentionality. ...
Book
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Why does the mind matter for joint action? Contentious Minds is a comparative study of how cognitive and relational processes allow activists to sustain their commitment. With survey data and narratives of activists engaged in three commitment communities, the minds of activists involved in contentious politics are compared with those devoted to institutional and volunteering action. The book’s main argument is that activists of one commitment community have synchronized minds concerning the aim and means of their activism as they perceive common good (aim) and politics (means) through similar cognitive lenses. The book shows the importance of direct conversational contact with individuals in bringing about this synchronization. Assessing the synchronization within communities as well as the variation between them constitutes a major purpose of this book. It shows that activists construct and enact community-specific democratic cultures, thereby entering the public sphere through collective action. The book makes three major contributions. First, it emphasizes the necessity to return the study of the mind to research on activism, Second, it calls for an integrated relational perspective that rests on the structural, instrumental, and interpretative dimensions of social networks. Finally, it advocates a substantial integration of culture in the study of social movements by effectively valuing the role of culture in shaping a person’s mind.
... Sociologist Alvin Gouldner (1960) drew from the functionalist perspective to argue that resource exchange, specifically reciprocity, serves as a mechanism for starting and continuing social interaction. Psychologists speak of resource exchange in terms of the motivations, emotions, and other cognitive aspects that affect resource exchange (see, e.g., Sober and Wilson, 1998). Economists refer to resource exchange in purely rational terms by calculating the benefits and costs (see, e.g., Robbins, 1952). ...
... Selection may nonetheless operate on societies [45,46], such that one society may expand and replace another, but this is largely an ecological process akin to replacement of red squirrels by grey squirrels in parts of the United Kingdom. Political, cultural and religious ideas may similarly spread via horizontal transmission; thus selection may operate on properties of societies [40], generating group-level adaptations [47,48], but again, there is little sense of societies acting as units of selection in their own right, as for example, is the case with bee colonies. ...
Article
That humans might undergo future evolutionary transitions in individuality (ETIs) seems fanciful. However, drawing upon recent thinking concerning the origins of properties that underpin ETIs, I argue that certain ETIs are imminently realizable. Central to my argument is recognition that heritable variance in fitness at higher levels of organization can be externally imposed (scaffolded) by specific ecological structures and cultural practices. While ETIs to eusociality seem highly improbable, ETIs involving symbioses between humans and artificial intelligence (AI) can be readily envisaged. A necessary requirement is that fitness-affecting interactions between humans and AI devices are inherited by offspring. The Mendelian nature of human reproduction ensures that offspring resemble parents. Reproduction of AI devices requires nothing more than transference of algorithms from parental AI devices to devices that are assigned to offspring. This simple copying, combined with societal structures that require humans to carry AI devices, ensures heritable variance in fitness at the level of both interacting partners. Selection at the collective level will drive alignment of replicative fates and increase co-dependency, thus alleviating need for continual imposition of externally imposed scaffolds. I conclude by drawing attention to the immediacy of such transitions and express concern over possibilities for malevolent manipulation. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Human socio-cultural evolution in light of evolutionary transitions’.
... It follows that moral behavior, in general, consists of following the rules (Alexander, 1987: p. 1). Anthropologists (Boehm, 2008Brown, 1991) and social scientists (Bloom, 2013;Krebs & Janicki, 2004;Sober & Wilson, 1998) found that people from all cultures have the ability to distinguish right from wrong and that all people acquire beliefs about how they should and should not behave. All cultures contain rules of conduct prescribing prosocial behavior (e.g., helping, cooperating, keeping promises, doing their share), and all cultures contain rules of conduct prohibiting antisocial behavior (e.g., lying, cheating, harming others unnecessarily) (Krebs, 2011). ...
... Moral emotions are crucial in regulating social interactions, as they promote the welfare of the society or of other people (Haidt et al., 2003). Indeed, they provide the emotional drive to properly behave in social interactions (Kroll and Egan, 2004;Piretti et al., 2020;Grecucci et al., 2021), forcing individuals to implement strategies that are optimal over a long period, even though they do not appear functional in the short period (Ridley, 1996;Sober and Wilson, 1998). ...
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Self-conscious emotions, such as shame and guilt, play a fundamental role in regulating moral behavior and in promoting the welfare of the society. Despite their relevance, the neural bases of these emotions are uncertain. In the present meta-analysis, we performed a systematic literature review in order to single out functional neuroimaging studies on healthy individuals specifically investigating the neural substrates of shame, embarrassment and guilt. Seventeen studies investigating the neural correlates of shame/embarrassment, and seventeen studies investigating guilt brain representation met our inclusion criteria. The analyses revealed that both guilt and shame/embarrassment were associated with the activation of the left anterior insula, involved in emotional awareness processing, and arousal. Guilt specific areas were located within the left temporo-parietal junction, which is thought to be involved in social cognitive processes. Moreover, specific activations for shame/embarrassment involved areas related to social pain (dorsal anterior cingulate, insula, thalamus), behavioral inhibition (premotor cortex) networks. This pattern of results might reflect distinct action tendencies associated with the two emotions.
... Moral emotions are crucial in regulating social interactions, as they promote the welfare of the society or of other people (Haidt et al., 2003). Indeed, they provide the emotional drive to properly behave in social interactions (Kroll and Egan, 2004;Piretti et al., 2020;Grecucci et al., 2021), forcing individuals to implement strategies that are optimal over a long period, even though they do not appear functional in the short period (Ridley, 1996;Sober and Wilson, 1998). ...
Preprint
Self-conscious emotions, such as shame and guilt, play a fundamental role in regulating moral behavior and in promoting the welfare of the society. Despite their relevance, the neural bases of these emotions are uncertain. In the present meta-analysis, we performed a systematic literature review in order to single out functional neuroimaging studies on healthy individuals specifically investigating the neural substrates of shame, embarrassment and guilt. Seventeen studies investigating the neural correlates of shame/embarrassment, and seventeen studies investigating guilt brain representation met our inclusion criteria. The analyses revealed that both guilt and shame/embarrassment were associated with the activation of the left anterior insula, involved in emotional awareness processing, and arousal. Guilt specific areas were located within the left temporo-parietal junction, which is thought to be involved in social cognitive processes. Moreover, specific activations for shame/embarrassment involved areas related to social pain (dorsal anterior cingulate, insula, thalamus), behavioral inhibition (premotor cortex) networks. This pattern of results might reflect distinct action tendencies associated with the two emotions.
... The overexploitation of resources can only be prevented by conservation of the resource by prudent reproduction (Slobodkin, 1961(Slobodkin, , 1974Goodnight et al., 2008). Evidence for the evolutionary merit of reproductive prudence comes from multiple experimental studies in various taxa that is supported by theoretical models (Gilpin, 1975;Nathanson, 1975;Wilson, 1978;Wade, 1980a;Holmes, 1983;Walker, 1984;Rand et al., 1995;Savill & Hogeweg, 1998;Sober & Wilson, 1998;Boots & Sasaki, 2000;Haraguchi & Sasaki, 2000;Rauch et al., 2002Rauch et al., , 2003Werfel & Bar-Yam, 2004;Kerr et al., 2006;Goodnight et al., 2008;MacLean, 2008;Borrello, 2012;Carter et al., 2014). Reproductive prudence of cells arose as a necessary prerequisite of multicellularity (Buss, 1987;Maynard Smith & Szathmáry, 1995;Frank & Nowak, 2004). ...
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How to cite the article:Heininger K. Duality of stochasticity and natural selection: a cybernetic evolution theory. WebmedCentral ECOLOGY 2015;6(2):WMC004796
... Kirkwood 2008;Kirkwood & Melov 2011;Vijg & Kennedy 2015;Kowald & Kirkwood 2016). Until today, the adherents to the ETAs ignore that multilevel selection, the modern version of group selection theory, has gained robust support and it has now become common for evolutionary biologists to think about natural selection as a process that operates on a nested hierarchy of units (e.g., Price 1970Price , 1972Gilpin 1975;Hamilton 1975;Wilson DS 1975, 1983Wade 1985;Frank 1986;Buss 1987;Boyd & Richerson 1990;Dugatkin 1990;Queller 1991;Goodnight et al. 1992;Peck 1992;Aviles 1993;Werren & Beukeboom 1993;Bull 1994;Wilson & Sober 1994;Maynard Smith & Szarthmary 1995;Seeley 1995;Wilson & Dugatkin 1997;Sober & Wilson 1998;Gould 2002;Okasha 2006;Bijma et al. 2007;Godfrey-Smith 2009 ...
... The overexploitation of resources can be avoided by conservation of resources by prudent reproduction (Slobodkin 1961(Slobodkin , 1974Goodnight et al. 2008). Evidence for the evolutionary merit of reproductive prudence comes from multiple experimental studies in various taxa that is supported by theoretical models (Gilpin 1975;Nathanson 1975;Wilson 1978;Wade 1980;Holmes 1983;Walker 1984;Rand et al. 1995;Savill & Hogeweg 1998;Sober & Wilson 1998;Boots & Sasaki 2000;Haraguchi & Sasaki 2000;Rauch et al. 2002Rauch et al. , 2003Werfel & Bar-Yam 2004;de Back 2006;Kerr et al. 2006;Goodnight et al. 2008;MacLean 2008;Borrello 2010;Kokko & Heubel 2011;Carter et al. 2014). Reproductive prudence of cells arose as a necessary prerequisite of multicellularity (Buss 1987;Maynard Smith & Szathmáry 1995;Frank & Nowak 2004). ...
... The benefit of restraint is that better resource management may prolong the persistence of the group. Evidence for the evolutionary merit of reproductive prudence comes from multiple experimental and observational studies in various taxa (Gilpin 1975;Nathanson 1975;Wilson 1978;Wade 1980;Holmes 1983;Walker 1984;Sober & Wilson 1998;Kerr et al. 2006;MacLean 2008;Borrello 2010;Carter et al. 2014;Hatton et al. 2015). These findings are supported by theoretical models (Rand et al. 1995;Savill & Hogeweg 1998;Boots & Sasaki 2000;Haraguchi & Sasaki 2000;Rauch et al. 2002Rauch et al. , 2003Mitteldorf et al. 2003;Werfel & Bar-Yam 2004;Goodnight et al. 2008). ...
... Selfless motives are also discussed in socio-biology research, which, in contrast to socio-psychologists, adopts an outcome view for explaining prosocial motives. Prominent theories here are the inclusive fitness theory (Hamilton 1964), reciprocal altruism (Trivers 1971), and the group selection theory (Sober and Wilson 1999). Most of these theories follow the general conception of neo-Darwinian models which define evolutionary success as the survival of an individual's genes and argue that humans acting prosocially following genetically-based predispositions are more likely to achieve this outcome (Penner et al. 2005). ...
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Will private households owning a photovoltaic system share their electricity during a long-lasting power outage? Prior research has shown that our energy systems need to become more resilient by using dispersed energy sources—a role that could well be performed by these private photovoltaic systems, but only if their owners decide to share the produced electricity, and not consume it themselves. Considering the potential of this approach, it is indispensable to better understand incentives and motives that facilitate such cooperative behaviour. Drawing on theories of social dilemmas as well as prosocial behaviour, we hypothesize that both, structural solutions such as increased rewards as well as individual motives such as empathy-elicited altruism and norms predict cooperation. We test these hypotheses against a dataset of 80 households in Germany which were asked about their sharing behaviour towards four different recipient groups. We show that the effectiveness of motives differs significantly across recipient groups: Individual (intrinsic) motivations such as empathy-elicited altruism and altruistic norms serve as a strong predictor for cooperative behaviour towards related recipients as well as critical infrastructure, whereas higher rewards partially even reduce cooperation depending on the donor’s social value orientation. For the recipient groups neighbours and public infrastructure, no significant effect for any of the tested incentives is found. Contributing to literature on social dilemmas and energy resilience, these results demonstrate the relevance of individual rather than structural incentives for electricity sharing during a power outage to render our energy provision more resilient. Practical implications for policymakers are given.
... En ce qui concerne son application au développement des organismes (qui ne sera pas détaillé plus avant) nous signalons simplement les critiques qui ontémergé notammentà cause des interactions complexes et multidirectionnelles "gène-environnement", dans lesquelles l'organisme prend une place centrale, remettant en question les deux premiers postulats, et a fortiori le troisième (Griffiths and Gray, 1994;Griffiths and Tabery, 2013;Levins and Lewontin, 1985;Oyama et al., 2001). Dans le domaine de l'évolution, la vision gène-centrée (Dawkins, 1976(Dawkins, , 1982 aégalement fait l'objet de critiques en raison des multiples relations causales entre différents niveaux d'organisations (Okasha, 2006;Sober and Lewontin, 1982;Sober and Wilson, 1999). En effet, bien que les gènes soient une structure biologique nécessaireà l'évolution, le niveau d'organisation sur lequel s'effectue la sélection, le niveau de sélection, n'est pas limitéà ces gènes (Lewontin, 1970). ...
Thesis
Les domaines de l’écologie et l’évolution sont constitués de systèmes complexes – organismes, espèces, communautés – qui se prêtent mal à une approche réductionniste. Ces systèmes ont des propriétés émergentes qui dépassent la somme des propriétés de leurs parties. Leur étude demande alors de s’intéresser aux interactions entre les parties et le tout de ces systèmes. Par exemple, l’étude d’une métacommunauté ne peut pas se limiter à l’étude stricte du tout (la métacommunauté) ou l’étude stricte des parties (les communautés composant la métacommunauté). La compréhension de cet système complexe demande de considérer le tout, les parties, et les interactions entre eux. De plus, ces interactions peuvent être multidirectionnelles, elles ne sont pas exclusivement des parties vers le tout, la causalité réciproque est possible, le tout influençant alors les parties. Dans cette thèse nous explorons à travers trois systèmes biologiques distincts comment les interactions entre le tout et les parties définissent ces systèmes. La thèse est donc constitué de trois chapitres. Dans le premier nous explorons un modèle de métacommunauté simulant l’invasion de la pyrale du buis, un insecte herbivore invasif en Europe, et étudions les interactions entre les échelles spatiales locale et globale. Ce modèle écologique de dynamique des populations est calibré à partir de mesures empiriques sur le terrain et à travers une manipulation en mésocosme. Notre modèle reproduit l’instabilité des dynamiques locales. En effet, localement l’insecte s’éteint irrémédiablement à cause de sa sur-exploitation de sa ressource (le buis). Cependant, notre modèle montre que les interactions entre les communautés, grâce à la dispersion de l’insecte, peut mener à la persistance du système à l’échelle de la métacommunauté. De plus, nous montrons que la structure de la métacommunauté émerge des interactions entre les dynamiques locales. Le deuxième chapitre explore dans quelle mesure une interaction mutualiste entre un hôte et un symbionte peut émerger à partir d’une interaction parasitique en coévoluant avec la dispersion. Nous développons un modèle éco-évolutif individu-centré dans un espace spatialisé en 2D et considérons comme condition initiale une population d’hôtes en interaction avec une population de symbiontes parasitiques. Nous montrons que grâce à l’évolution d’une dispersion locale une structure spatiale peut émerger de la dynamique du système hôte-symbionte. L’émergence de cette structure spatiale induit la formation de plusieurs niveaux d’organisation en interactions entre eux : le niveau de l’individu, le niveau du regroupement spatial, et le niveau du paysage. Tandis que le niveau de l’individu favorise l’évolution du parasitisme, les deux niveaux supérieurs du regroupement spatial et de l’ensemble du paysage favorise l’évolution du mutualisme. Nous montrons que selon la force de la structure spatiale, modulée par l’intensité de la compétition à l’échelle du paysage, la transition du parasitisme vers le mutualisme peut se produire. Enfin, le dernier chapitre s’intéresse à l’évolution d’une stratégie d’acquisition de ressource chez des consommateurs dans un modèle éco-évolutif consommateurs-ressources. La littérature montre que la capacité des consommateurs à moduler activement leur manière de consommer les différentes ressources est un processus important dans le fonctionnement des écosystèmes, notamment leur stabilité. Cependant, ces résultats sont obtenus à partir de modèles de communautés fixes ce qui prive l’étude de certaines interactions potentielles entre le niveau de l’individu et celui de la communauté. À partir de notre modèle d’émergence de communautés nous montrons que la stratégie d’acquisition des ressources des consommateurs a un effet sur des propriétés de la communauté, notamment sa biomasse, sa productivité, sa diversité et sa stabilité. De plus, la structure de l’ensemble de la communauté module l’évolution des stratégies des consommateurs.
... It is striking that while realists debate whether domestic factors can override international ones, the corresponding debate in evolutionary biology concerns whether group selection ever trumps individual selection. 142 The spread of democracy has given an individual selection advantage to security-seeking in much of the world. ...
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Why is daredevil aggression like Russia’s war on Ukraine such an important factor in world politics? Neither offensive nor defensive realists give a fully satisfactory answer. This paper maintains that the problem lies in their shared assumption that states pursue security. Tracing neorealism’s roots in evolutionary economics, and hence indirectly in biological theories of natural selection, I argue that many policies are compatible with state survival. What is hard is surviving as a great power. States that rise to that rank, and remain there, behave as if they sought to maximize their influence, not their security. This Darwinian competition selects in favor of states with expansionist institutions and ideologies. Failing to recognize this phenomenon risks conferring a spurious legitimacy on imperialism. At the same time, neorealists have also committed a fallacy familiar to biologists: assuming that traits enhancing group fitness are selected even when they diminish fitness in intragroup competition. Whereas interstate competition selects in great powers for traits that promote influence-maximization, with the spread of democracy, intrastate competition increasingly selects for security-seeking. Yet the former process sometimes still dominates the latter, above all in authoritarian great powers.
... Dawkins', 1976 book The Selfish Gene popularized the idea of the gene as the unit of selection and consequently group selection fell out of favor as an explanation for behavior. However, Sober and Wilson (1998) revived interest in group selection (see also Wilson, 1997Wilson, , 2003, sometimes framed as multilevel selection theory, to emphasize that selection simultaneously takes place on multiple levels. Wilson and Sober received support from other prominent academics, such as economist Herbert Gintis (2000). ...
Article
We investigated the prevalence of beliefs in several key and contested aspects of human psychology and behavior in a broad sample of evolutionary-informed scholars (N = 581). Nearly all participants believed that developmental environments substantially shape human adult psychology and behavior, that there are differences in human psychology and behavior based on sex differences from sexual selection, and that there are individual differences in human psychology and behavior resulting from different genotypes. About three-quarters of participants believed that there are population differences from dissimilar ancestral ecologies/environments and within-person differences across the menstrual cycle. Three-fifths believed that the human mind consists of domain-specific, context-sensitive modules. About half of participants believed that behavioral and cognitive aspects of human life history vary along a unified fast-slow continuum. Two-fifths of participants believed that group-level selection has substantially contributed to human evolution. Results indicate that there are both shared core beliefs as well as phenomena that are accepted by varying proportions of scholars. Such patterns represent the views of contemporary scholars and the current state of the field. The degree of acceptance for some phenomena may change over time as evolutionary science advances through the accumulation of empirical evidence.
... we may assume that individuality demands some sort of autonomy, and yet a human baby is not autonomous) or apply to biological systems that, to many, do not seem to merit to be identified as individuals (e.g. an ant colony as an emergent individual, also known as a 'superorganism'). This philosophical problem has gained renewed currency in contemporary philosophy of biology in response to debates about group selection and whether groups exist with their own group-level properties (see Sober and Wilson 1998;Wilson and Sober 1989;and Okasha 2006 concerning group selection). Much theoretical work has been conducted to better buttress our metaphysical understanding of biological individuals and how they fit into various biological explanations (see e.g. ...
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This collection of essays explores the metaphysical thesis that the living world is not ontologically made up of substantial particles or things, as has often been assumed, but is rather constituted by processes. The biological domain is organized as an interdependent hierarchy of processes, which are stabilized and actively maintained at different timescales. Even entities that intuitively appear to be paradigms of things, such as organisms, are actually better understood as processes. Unlike previous attempts to articulate processual views of biology, which have tended to use Alfred North Whitehead’s panpsychist metaphysics as a foundation, this book takes a naturalistic approach to metaphysics. It submits that the main motivations for replacing an ontology of substances with one of processes are to be looked for in the empirical findings of science. Biology provides compelling reasons for thinking that the living realm is fundamentally dynamic and that the existence of things is always conditional on the existence of processes. The phenomenon of life cries out for theories that prioritize processes over things, and it suggests that the central explanandum of biology is not change but rather stability—or, more precisely, stability attained through constant change. This multicontributor volume brings together philosophers of science and metaphysicians interested in exploring the consequences of a processual philosophy of biology. The contributors draw on an extremely wide range of biological case studies and employ a process perspective to cast new light on a number of traditional philosophical problems such as identity, persistence, and individuality.
... Social Safety Theory is constructed on three premises that link the state of social safety vs. social stress to positive or negative health outcomes. First, this approach makes a note of the functional advantages that humans gain by means of prosociality and fostering social safety (Fiske, Cuddy, & Glick, 2007;Sober & Wilson, 1998;Tomasello, 2014). Secondly, it is proposed that having social safety has salutary effects and is generally beneficial for health, longevity and well-being. ...
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Stress has been systematically shown to affect health. Social life introduces additional sources of stress, and social stressors emerge as a particular kind of stressors. Living in groups and embedded into their social networks, humans live a complex life based on regular social interactions, elaborate cultural routines and mental life rooted in intersubjectivity, capacity for social learning and affiliative needs. Social Safety Theory and life history orientation approach use this ground to develop an evolutionary-based perspective on life stress and health. While life history orientation framework is already well established in social epidemiology, medical anthropology and sociology, Social Safety Theory is a novel approach building on the psychological ability embedded in human sociality to form and maintain lasting social bonds. It hypothesizes that threats to social safety are a critical feature of psychological stressors that increase risk for disease. By doing so it provides a link between social behavior, psychosocial stress and human health when considered in the light of evolution. Life history orientation approach stems from the evolutionary premises and expands its biologically-grounded reasoning into the realm of psychology as well as health sciences. Among other things, it contributes to sociological frameworks linking the effects of childhood adversity to patterns of disease and social behavior in adult life. Both these frameworks provide important conceptual junctures for the researchers of stress, health and social behavior by developing explanations of different avenues by which our social ecologies affect biological risks.
... Levins and Lewontin (1985) established a paradigm for this line of thought on the biological side, and the more recent work of Bowles and Gintis (2011) stands out on the social science side. In between was Sober and Wilson (1998), who focused on the relative significance of 'selfishness' (aka capitalism) and 'altruism' (aka socialism) in evolution through a version of 'group selection', which leaves the open question of the level at which group membership matters. ...
... Such transitions are limited, however, to only a few species. Whether higher-level ecological structures comprising many species could equally be subject to natural selection remains an open question in "macrobial" (3)(4)(5)(6)(7) or microbial communities (8)(9)(10)(11). The emerging field of community and ecosystem genetics, focused on genetic interactions in manipulated and natural environments and communities of many species of multicellular eukaryotes, specifically addresses the role of selection operating at multiple levels of organization (reviewed by Whitham et al. in 12). ...
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Understanding community-level selection using Lewontin's criteria requires both community-level inheritance and community-level heritability, and in the discipline of community and ecosystem genetics, these are often conflated. While there are existing studies that show the possibility of both, these studies impose community-level inheritance as a product of the experimental design. For this reason, these experiments provide only weak support for the existence of community-level selection in nature. By contrast, treating communities as interactors (in line with Hull's replicator-interactor framework or Dawkins's idea of the "extended phenotype") provides a more plausible and empirically supportable model for the role of ecological communities in the evolutionary process.
... The omnipresence of reciprocal fairness suggests an evolutionarily rooted biological foundation [13,14]. Accordingly, it has been proposed that the prefrontal cortex of the human brain is implicated in the implementation of reciprocal fairness. ...
Article
Reciprocal fairness, in the form of punishment and reward, is at the core of human societal order. Its underlying neural mechanisms are, however, not fully understood. We systemize suggestive evidence regarding the involvement of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (rDLPFC) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in reciprocal fairness in three cognitive mechanisms ( cognitive control , domain-general and self-reference ). We test them and provide novel insights in a comprehensive behavioural experiment with non-invasive brain stimulation where participants can punish greedy actions and reward generous actions. Brain stimulation of either brain area decreases reward and punishment when reciprocation is costly but unexpectedly increases reward when it is non-costly. None of the hypothesized mechanisms fully accounts for the observed behaviour, and the asymmetric involvement of the investigated brain areas in punishment and reward suggests that different psychological mechanisms are underlying punishing selfishness and rewarding generosity. We propose that, for reciprocal punishment, the rDLPFC and the mPFC process self-relevant information, in terms of both personal cost and personal involvement; for reciprocal reward, these brain regions are involved in controlling selfish and pure reciprocity motives, while simultaneously promoting the enforcement of fairness norms. These insights bear importance for endeavours to build biologically plausible models of human behaviour.
... Der Zustand des anderen, für den man ihn zum Beispiel bemitleidet, braucht nämlich nicht unbedingt ein Gefühl zu sein. Er braucht sogar überhaupt kein psychischer Zustand zu sein (Sober & Wilson, 1998;Weiner, 1995). So kann man zum Beispiel jemanden auch dafür bemitleiden, dass er krank oder arm ist. ...
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Der dritte und letzte Band der 'Einführung in die Emotionspsychologie' befasst sich mit den kognitiven Aspekten der Emotionen. Wie in den Bänden I und II wird die systematische mit einer historischen Perspektive vebunden. Im ersten Kapitel wird deshalb die kognitive Emotionstheorie von Meinong dargestellt; die folgenden Kapitel beschäftigen sich mit ausgewählten neueren kognitiven Theorien (Weiner, Lazarus, Ortony, Clore & Collins). In jedem Kapitel werden Bezüge zur neuesten Forschung hergestellt und ausgewählte Aspekte der jeweiligen Theorie diskutiert.
... In particular, much theory has focused on the evolution of cooperation [3,4], and more narrowly, altruism [5,6]: behavior that is costly to the actor but beneficial to its interaction partners. Historically, how natural selection could favor altruism has been a puzzle, but in broad terms the solution has long been understood: altruism can be selected if its benefits accrue disproportionately to altruists, thus offsetting their costs [3,[7][8][9]. Nevertheless, the mechanisms that allow such an interaction structure to arise and persist are still a matter of intense study and debate [4]. ...
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Theories on the evolutionary origins of altruistic behavior have a long history and have become a canonical part of the theory of evolution. Nevertheless, the mechanisms that allow altruism to appear and persist are still incompletely understood. It is well known, however, that the spatial structure of populations is an important determinant. In both theoretical and experimental studies, much attention has been devoted to populations that are subdivided into discrete groups. Such studies typically imposed the structure and dynamics of the groups by hand. Here, we instead present a simple individual-based model in which altruistic organisms spontaneously self-organize into spatially separated colonies that themselves reproduce by binary fission and hence behave as Darwinian entities in their own right. Using software to automatically track the rise and fall of colonies, we are able to apply formal theory on multilevel selection and thus quantify the within- and among-group dynamics. This reveals that individual colonies inevitably succumb to defectors in a within-colony “tragedy of the commons”. Even so, altruism persists in the population because more altruistic colonies reproduce more frequently and drive less altruistic ones to extinction. Evidently, the colonies promote the selection of altruism but in turn depend on altruism for their existence; the selection of altruism hence involves a kind of evolutionary bootstrapping. The emergence of the colonies also depends crucially on the length scales of motility, altruism, and competition. This reconfirms the general relevance of these scales for social evolution, but also stresses that their impact can only be understood fully in the light of the emergent eco-evolutionary spatial patterns. The results also suggest that emergent spatial population patterns can function as a starting point for transitions of individuality.
... The more memories overlap with others, the more survival chances humans have (Tomasello et al., 2005), which is termed "the social tunning effect" (Shteynberg, 2010). The mental adaptations of memory enhancement of gaze cues would improve both personal and social fitness (Sober and Wilson, 1998). ...
Article
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During evolution, humans have formed a priority perceptual preference for others’ gazes. The gaze direction of others is called the gaze cue, conveying environmental information, a critical non-verbal communication in early humans. Recently, empirical evidence has indicated that gaze cues can affect high-level cognitive processes, such as memory. Unlike non-social cues (e.g., arrows), gaze cues elicit special social attention. Research determining the underlying mechanisms suggests that social intention influences observers’ visual attention and influences their memory. This article provides a brief review of the current state of research on the relationship between gaze cues and memory. Future studies should focus on multiple gaze cues, the social nature of gaze cues, and clinical research.
... we may assume that individuality demands some sort of autonomy, and yet a human baby is not autonomous) or apply to biological systems that, to many, do not seem to merit to be identi ed as individuals (e.g. an ant colony as an emergent individual, also known as a 'superorganism'). This philosophical problem has gained renewed currency in contemporary philosophy of biology in response to debates about group selection and whether groups exist with their own group-level properties (see Sober and Wilson 1998;Wilson and Sober 1989;and Okasha 2006 concerning group selection). Much theoretical work has been conducted to better buttress our metaphysical understanding of biological individuals and how they t into various biological explanations (see e.g. ...
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This collection of essays explores the metaphysical thesis that the living world is not ontologically made up of substantial particles or things, as has often been assumed, but is rather constituted by processes. The biological domain is organized as an interdependent hierarchy of processes, which are stabilized and actively maintained at different timescales. Even entities that intuitively appear to be paradigms of things, such as organisms, are actually better understood as processes. Unlike previous attempts to articulate processual views of biology, which have tended to use Alfred North Whitehead’s panpsychist metaphysics as a foundation, this book takes a naturalistic approach to metaphysics. It submits that the main motivations for replacing an ontology of substances with one of processes are to be looked for in the empirical findings of science. Biology provides compelling reasons for thinking that the living realm is fundamentally dynamic and that the existence of things is always conditional on the existence of processes. The phenomenon of life cries out for theories that prioritize processes over things, and it suggests that the central explanandum of biology is not change but rather stability—or, more precisely, stability attained through constant change. This multicontributor volume brings together philosophers of science and metaphysicians interested in exploring the consequences of a processual philosophy of biology. The contributors draw on an extremely wide range of biological case studies and employ a process perspective to cast new light on a number of traditional philosophical problems such as identity, persistence, and individuality.
... The undecidability of its concept or figure demands the search for an interpretation that can never quite satisfy the impetus setting it in motion. One could compare, for instance, Sober and Wilson's (1999) Unto Others, which does not attempt to reduce altruism to individualistic competition, but nonetheless does not take the radical departure from adaptationism that Margulis is proposing. ...
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Lynn Margulis's writing about symbiosis has profoundly influenced contemporary evolutionary theory, as well as continental and analytic philosophy of science, the materialist turn, and new materialism. Nonetheless, her work, and all symbiosis or evolution, is founded on a paradox: symbiosis fictionalizes customary accounts of the origin and evolution of species, yet it is impossible to speak of symbiosis (cross-species association) unless species-boundaries have been posited in advance. Thus, a tension is legible throughout Margulis's work between the drive to surpass the limits of species-definitions as they have been traditionally understood, and a need to maintain them in order that there can be "sym-biosis" at all. Margulis criticized neo-Darwinian accounts of evolution in part because she saw symbiogenesis as debunking the theory that life was defined by individualistic competition. More recently, Myra Hird has suggested that the gift, such as it has been theorized by certain anthropologists and philosophers, could adequately figure symbiosis and the ethical relations founded on it. I turn to Derrida's writing on the gift to suggest that, if a gift worthy of the name chances to happen, it necessarily exceeds scientific, theoretical, and philosophical knowledge.
... However, both claims have been challenged in the philosophy of biology. Philosophers have proposed alternative ways to understand inheritance, development, and evolution that reject the centrality of genetic transmission, including multilevel selection theory and group selection theory (Okasha, 2006;Sober and Wilson, 1998). Perhaps the most ambitious and fully developed of such approaches is developmental systems theory. ...
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It is widely assumed that there is value in the biological tie between parent and child. An implication of this is that adoption is often considered a less desirable alternative to procreation. This paper offers a philosophical defence of adoptive parenthood as a valuable and authentic form of parenthood. While previous defences have suggested that society’s valorisation of the biological tie is unjustified, I argue herein that the conception of the biological tie that features in the normative discourse on parenthood is too narrowly genocentric. Against this genocentric conception, recent work in the philosophy of biology has emphasised the roles of joint determination, dynamic construction, and extended inheritance in development, which I suggest can substantiate a more inclusive conception of the biological tie. Accordingly, I propose that adoptive parents form a rich variety of biological ties with their children, some of which are as heritable and formative as genetic relatedness.
... Furthermore, group selection is no longer taken seriously as a potential selective process. With a few exceptions like Sober and Wilson (1998), contemporary evolutionary biologists regard as plausible selective processes only individual selection, kin selection, and reciprocal altruism. The prevailing view is that group selection is possible but so improbable as to have had an insignificant effect (Wade 1978). ...
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It is morally negligent or reckless to believe without sufficient evidence. The foregoing proposition follows from a rule that is a modified expression of W. K. Clifford's ethics of belief. Clifford attempted to prove that it is always wrong to believe without sufficient evidence by advancing a doxastic counterpart to an act utilitarian argument. Contrary to various commentators, his argument is neither purely nor primarily epistemic, he is not a non-consequentialist, and he does not use stoicism to make his case. Clifford's conclusion is a universal generalisation that is in a precarious position because of potential counterexamples. But the counterexamples do not preclude a rule against going beyond the available evidence and it is worthwhile making a moral case for such a rule.
Chapter
With its multiple meanings and conflicting connotations, the term “evolution” has been associated with controversy for over two centuries. Much of this dispute has concerned the relationship between the social sciences and biology. While in the nineteenth century this relationship was close, there was a dramatic parting of the ways in the twentieth century, when words like “evolution” were used less frequently. But in recent decades, evolutionary thinking in biology has had a greater impact on the social sciences. Links include the possibility that social and biological evolution might share some abstract common principles, despite the big differences between social and biological phenomena in detailed terms. In addition, empirical and theoretical studies have revealed important interactions between genetic and cultural evolution.
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Introducing the results of psychology to the field of inter-religious relations, the value of empathy for the latter may seem equivocal. Based on a study of Hartshorne’s thought, this paper will clarify conceptually that, as a mechanism, empathy can promote integration and dialogue, but may also result in partiality due to the limitation of its scope, thus resulting in prejudice and even conflict. It will further argue that Hartshorne provides a view of ultimate reality that not only highlights the moral value of empathy, but also promotes the extension of its scope. This implies that a theological account of empathy can go beyond the framework constructed in psychology and transform it into something that has unequivocally positive value for inter-religious integration and dialogue.
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Socio-technical energy transitions are long-term and major transformations in incumbent energy infrastructures. They include fundamental changes in technologies as well as institutions and social patterns. Transition studies are primarily focused on frameworks for analyzing the entire transition process by investigating the historical cases of transitions. A multi-phase approach to transition posits this process begins with a pre-development phase characterized by technological and institutional lock-ins, and resistance from incumbent actors. This period is critical for a forward-looking approach to transitions, since early developments shape path-dependent and irreversible processes leading to the emergence of new transition pathways. However, our understanding about the mechanisms and dynamics of this phase is still very limited. This is mainly due to lack of data, weak conceptualization and the necessity of developing new methods proper to deal with these limitations. This dissertation develops methodologies for investigating some complex questions arising in the pre-development phase, by focusing on the case of smart grid development. The first essay uses insights from modeling interventions in complex systems and builds a System Dynamics model to investigate the cost allocation problem of smart metering roll-out. The second essay takes ideas from Technological Innovation System approach and develops a method to analyze the emergence of spatial diversity in smart grid development by combining Social Network Analysis and Agent-Based Modeling. The third essay builds on ideas from network theory and evolutionary modeling to develop a method for identifying the main path of knowledge development and analyzing knowledge trajectories in smart grid initiatives.
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Xunzi 荀子 provided naturalistic answers to questions regarding human sociality and our characteristic “groupishness” (qun 羣). Central to his theories were so-called “social divisions and righteousness” (fenyi 分義), which can be interpreted as a uniquely human package of “cultural technology” produced via cultural evolution to suppress intragroup conflict stemming from what Xunzi calls “the mind of covetous comparison” (liangyi zhi xin 兩疑之心). For Xunzi, fenyi is the uniquely human attribute which kickstarts a salutary causal chain which facilitates prosociality and the upscaling of cooperation, and ultimately results in human ecological dominance. This essay will argue that an incipient form of cultural evolution is discoverable in the Xunzi, and moreover that a solution to the problem of the origin of the “ritual and righteousness” (liyi 禮義) cultural package derives neatly from the incipient cultural evolution of the Xunzi. That is to say, while this solution is not explicitly adduced in the Xunzi, it is nonetheless consistent with Xunzian ideas and is an improvement on the much-lambasted solution Xunzi actually gives, according to which “the former kings hated … chaos, and so they established rituals and righteousness.”
Book
The argument for metaethical relativism, the view that there is no single true or most justified morality, is that it is part of the best explanation of the most difficult moral disagreements. The argument for this view features a comparison between traditions that highly value relationship and community and traditions that highly value personal autonomy of the individual and rights. It is held that moralities are best understood as emerging from human culture in response to the need to promote and regulate interpersonal cooperation and internal motivational coherence in the individual. The argument ends in the conclusion that there is a bounded plurality of true and most justified moralities that accomplish these functions. The normative implications of this form of metaethical relativism are explored, with specific focus on female genital cutting and abortion.
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This introductory essay provides a historical and cross-cultural overview of evolutionary ethics, and how it can be situated within naturalized ethics. We also situate the contributions to this volume.KeywordsCharles DarwinPyotr KropotkinPaul RéeArthur Schopenhauer Naturalistic ethics Evolutionary ethics Mozi Mengzi Yangming WangImmanuel Kant Moral foundations theory Henry SidgwickG.E. MooreCompetition Mutual aid Experimental philosophy
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Situated at the intersection of natural science and philosophy, Our Genes explores historical practices, investigates current trends, and imagines future work in genetic research to answer persistent, political questions about human diversity. Readers are guided through fascinating thought experiments, complex measures and metrics, fundamental evolutionary patterns, and in-depth treatment of exciting case studies. The work culminates in a philosophical rationale, based on scientific evidence, for a moderate position about the explanatory power of genes that is often left unarticulated. Simply put, human evolutionary genomics - our genes - can tell us much about who we are as individuals and as collectives. However, while they convey scientific certainty in the popular imagination, genes cannot answer some of our most important questions. Alternating between an up-close and a zoomed-out focus on genes and genomes, individuals and collectives, species and populations, Our Genes argues that the answers we seek point to rich, necessary work ahead.
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Why are there so many controversies in evolutionary psychology? Using a couple of concepts from philosophy of science, this paper argues that evolutionary psychology has not reached the stage of mature, normal science, since it does not currently have a unifying research program that guides individual scientists working in the discipline. The argument goes against claims made by certain proponents and opponents of evolutionary psychology, and it is supported by discussion of several examples. The paper notes that just because evolutionary psychology has not reached the stage of normal science, the discipline is nevertheless a source of many progressive theoretical developments and interesting empirical discoveries.
Chapter
This chapter is a concise summary of the integrated framework on the relations between empathy and moral judgment. The roles of individualizing and groupish moral intuitions and moral emotions, such as anticipated guilt, anger, and disgust, are explained. This chapter is specifically written from an evolutionary perspective. Evolutionary perspectives mainly deal with ultimate explanations and thus need to be complemented with proximate explanatory mechanisms. This chapter discusses the key variables of our evolutionary-inspired model underlying moral judgments in the context of distinct moral violations.KeywordsMoral Foundations TheoryCommitment strategiesEmpathyAnticipated guiltMoral angerMoral disgustMoral judgmentMoral violations
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This introductory essay of an edited volume on empirically engaged evolutionary ethics provides a historical and cross-cultural overview of evolutionary ethics, and how it can be situated within naturalized ethics. We also situate the contributions to this volume.
Article
Philosophy and science have always striven to make sense of the world, continuously influencing each other in the process. Their interplay paved the way for neurophilosophy, which harnesses neuroscientific insights to address traditionally philosophical questions. Given the rapid neuroscientific and technological advances in recent years, this paper argues that philosophers who wish to tackle intractable philosophical problems and influence public discourse and policies should engage in neuro‐techno‐philosophy. This novel type of inquiry describes the transdisciplinary endeavor of philosophers, (neuro)scientists, and others to anticipate the societal implications of the impending transformations of subjects and theorizers. While human enhancement is likely to irreversibly change what it means to be human, disruptive technologies might lead to the emergence of artificial intelligent agents and human‐machine hybrids. The paper predicts that neuro‐techno‐philosophy will be indispensable to understanding and engaging with these game‐changing innovations and thus play a pivotal role in the future of philosophy.
Chapter
In the early twentieth century, genes arose as a new locus of power, form, and function. This new biological “agent” outcompeted other concepts to become a primary unit of biology, alongside organisms. The definition of genes, however, requires close attention. Single polynucleotides can be identified as discrete, material particles and units of form that can be passed from generation to generation. The real difference makers, however, require something more. A selfish or strategic gene that can be the “for whom” and “by whom” of biological function must be identified with a collective, a “type” of which individual polynucleotides are only “tokens.” Recent gene concepts are both immaterial and inherently teleological. They allow biologists to retain teleology while avoiding the undesirable aspects of earlier transcendent, progressive, and prospective biological agent concepts.KeywordsAgencyFunctionGeneTeleologyType/token
Article
En un entorno cada vez más turbulento y competitivo la capacidad de aprendizaje organizativo se ha señalado como un mecanismo estratégico para lograr un continuo éxito organizativo. Por ello, las organizaciones y los académicos están tratando de encontrar fórmulas para crear entornos laborales con una elevada capacidad de aprendizaje. Sin embargo, todavía no se han podido consensuar claramente las formas más eficaces que tienen las organizaciones para desarrollar su capacidad de aprendizaje. Por ello, en esta investigación proponemos el altruismo y la confianza organizativa como antecedentes de la capacidad de aprendizaje organizativo. Para validar las hipótesis se ha empleado la técnica de las ecuaciones estructurales sobre los datos procedentes de una encuesta realizada a empresas españolas excelentes en la dirección de recursos humanos. Los resultados de esta investigación demuestran que, en estas empresas, el altruismo podría favorecer la capacidad de aprendizaje tanto directa como indirectamente (a través de la confianza organizativa). Estas averiguaciones constatan que las organizaciones pueden encontrar en el altruismo un valor que les permita mejorar su capacidad de aprendizaje.
Article
In this commentary, we review and question Brosnan's hypothesis that inequity aversion (IA) evolved as a domain-specific social mechanism. We then outline an alternative, domain-general, account of IA. As opposed to Brosnan's social hypothesis, we propose that IA evolved from more general reward mechanisms. In particular, we argue reference-dependence and loss-aversion can account for the evolution of IA in primates. We discuss recent work on reference-dependence and explore how it may have given rise to inequality-averse behavior in social settings. We conclude with suggestions for future work examining the proximate mechanisms that give rise to IA.
Article
In the last few years, breakthroughs in computational and experimental techniques have produced several key discoveries in the science of networks and human collective intelligence. This review presents the latest scientific findings from two key fields of research: collective problem-solving and the wisdom of the crowd. I demonstrate the core theoretical tensions separating these research traditions and show how recent findings offer a new synthesis for understanding how network dynamics alter collective intelligence, both positively and negatively. I conclude by highlighting current theoretical problems at the forefront of research on networked collective intelligence, as well as vital public policy challenges that require new research efforts.
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Previous work has shown how a minimal ecological structure consisting of patchily distributed resources and recurrent dispersal between patches can scaffold Darwinian properties onto collections of cells. When the timescale of dispersal is long compared with the time to consume resources, patches evolve such that their size increases, but at the expense of cells whose growth rate decreases within patches. This creates the conditions that initiate evolutionary transitions in individuality. A key assumption of this scaffolding is that a bottleneck is created during dispersal, so patches are founded by single cells. The bottleneck decreases competition within patches and hence creates a strong hereditary link at the level of patches. Here we construct a fully stochastic model of nested Darwinian populations and investigate how larger bottlenecks affect the evolutionary dynamics at both cell and collective levels. It is shown that, up to a point, larger bottlenecks simply slow the dynamics, but at some point, which depends on the parameters of the within-patch model, the direction of evolution toward the equilibrium is reversed. Introducing random bottleneck sizes with some positive probability of smaller sizes can counteract this, even if the probability of smaller bottlenecks is small.
Chapter
This chapter “Models of love as social connections” characterizes several models, which come under this umbrella feature. Among those are community-bonding and pair-bonding models of love, the models of love as attachment, commitment, and union, companionate and friendship models, altruistic and benevolent models.KeywordsLove as a social connectionCommunity loveKinship loveFamilial loveConnections in love across culturesInterdependence in loveIndependence in lovePair-bonding in loveSexual monogamyCultural variation of monogamyNeed to belong and loveLove as attachmentLove as group bondingLove as pair-bondingAttachment in childhoodAttachment in adulthoodThe love of childThe love of parentThe love of adultPsychological autonomy in loveLove as commitmentExternally imposed commitmentInternally imposed commitmentCommitment in love across culturesLove as a dutyThe duty of love across culturesAppreciation in loveConcept of enqingCompanionate loveLove for marriageLove in marriageArranged marriageFree-choice marriageMarital loveFamily loveCompanionate love across culturesLove as a unionLove as comfortLove as friendship across culturesCompatibility in loveSynchrony in loveInterdependence in loveComplementarity in loveLove as expansionSelf-transcendence in loveLove as relationship buildingRelationship dependency in loveTypology of interdependency in loveInterdependence in love across culturesLove as adjustmentLove as accommodationSelf-change in loveIntimacy in loveCloseness in loveIntimacy across culturesSelf-disclosure in loveSelf-disclosure across culturesSharing in loveCommunication in loveAltruistic loveBenevolent loveLove as caringLove as givingLove as communal relationshipsLove as agape
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I argue that our general disposition to make moral judgments and our core moral intuitions are likely the product of social selection—a kind of gene–culture coevolution driven by the enforcement of collectively agreed-upon rules. Social selection could potentially track mind-independent moral truth by a process that I term realist social selection: our ancestors could have acquired moral knowledge via reason and enforced rules based on that knowledge, thereby creating selection pressures that drove the evolution of our moral psychology. Given anthropological evidence that early humans designed rules with the conscious aim of preserving individual autonomy and advancing their collective interests, the theory of realist social selection appears to be attractive for moral realists. The goal of evolutionary debunking arguments should be to show not that our moral beliefs are the product of natural selection, but that realist social selection did not occur.
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