Advertisement

Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 257–267 | Cite as

Cooperation, conflict, sex and bargaining

Joan Roughgarden’s: The genial gene. University of California Press, 2009, ISBN 978-0-520-25826-6
  • Samir Okasha
  • Ken Binmore
  • Jonathan Grose
  • Cédric Paternotte
Article

The Genial Geneis an ambitious, intriguing and rather controversial book. Roughgarden seeks to establish what she sees as a radical new theory, called ‘social selection’, as an alternative to orthodox neo-Darwinist ideas about co-operative and social behaviour, particularly in relation to mating, sexual reproduction and the rearing of offspring. Her chief foil is sexual selection theory, which she rightly sees as enjoying paradigmatic status among modern evolutionists concerned with mate choice and related phenomena. The opposition between ‘sexual’ and ‘social’ selection is the book’s central organizing theme, though readers should note that Roughgarden construes both rather broadly, as umbrella terms covering a variety of different (and logically separable) ideas. The book’s sub-title—‘Deconstructing Darwinian Selfishness’—reveals Roughgarden’s main objection to the evolutionary orthodoxy she seeks to undermine, namely that it portrays organisms as fundamentally selfish and treats...

References

  1. Andersson M (1994) Sexual selection. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  2. Aumann RJ (2008) Game theory. In: Durlauf SN, Blume LE, Macmillan P (eds) The new palgrave dictionary of economics, 2nd edn. <http://www.dictionaryofeconomics.com/article?id=pde2008_G000007>. doi:10.1057/9780230226203.0615
  3. Binmore K (2007) Playing for Real. Oxford University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Binmore K (2009) Bargaining in biology. J Evol Biol (forthcoming)Google Scholar
  5. Binmore K, Dasgupta P (1987) The economics of bargaining. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  6. Burt A, Trivers R (2006) Genes in conflict. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  7. Dawkins R (1989) The selfish gene, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  8. Dawkins R (2005) The ancestor’s tale. Phoenix Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  9. Iwasa Y, Pomiankowski A (1999) Good parent and good genes models of handicap evolution. J Theor Biol 200(1):97–109Google Scholar
  10. Lehmann L, Keller L (2006) The evolution of cooperation and altruism—a general framework and a classification of models. J Evol Biol 19:1365–1376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lessells K et al. (2006) Nothing new under the sun: social selection is part of sexual selection theory. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/eletters/311/5763/965#top (e-letter response to Roughgarden J et al. (2006) Science 311)
  12. Nash J (1950) The bargaining problem. Econometrica 18:155–162CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Okasha S (2008) Biological altruism. In: Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/altruism-biological/
  14. Roughgarden J, Oishi M, Akçay E (2006) Reproductive social behavior: cooperative games to replace sexual selection. Science 311:965–969CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Sober E (1994) Did evolution make us psychological egoists? In: From a biological point of view. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 8–27Google Scholar
  16. Williams GC (1966) Adaptation and natural selection. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samir Okasha
    • 1
  • Ken Binmore
    • 1
  • Jonathan Grose
    • 1
  • Cédric Paternotte
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BristolBristolUK

Personalised recommendations