On the relationship between evolutionary and psychological definitions of altruism and selfishness
- David Sloan Wilson
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I examine the relationship between evolutionary definitions of altruism that are based on fitness effects and psychological definitions that are based on the motives of the actor. I show that evolutionary altruism can be motivated by proximate mechanisms that are psychologically either altruistic or selfish. I also show that evolutionary definitions do rely upon motives as a metaphor in which the outcome of natural selection is compared to the decisions of a psychologically selfish (or altruistic) individual. Ignoring the precise nature of both psychological and evolutionary definitions has obscured many important issues, including the biological roots of psychological altruism.
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- On the relationship between evolutionary and psychological definitions of altruism and selfishness
Biology and Philosophy
Volume 7, Issue 1 , pp 61-68
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
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- group selection
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Biological Sciences, State University of New York, 13902-6000, Binghamton, New York, U.S.A.