Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 287–297

What can economics contribute to the study of human evolution?

Review Essay

DOI: 10.1007/s10539-011-9250-x

Cite this article as:
Ross, D. Biol Philos (2012) 27: 287. doi:10.1007/s10539-011-9250-x


The revised edition of Paul Seabright’s The Company of Strangers is critically reviewed. Seabright aims to help non-economists participating in the cross-disciplinary study of the evolution of human sociality appreciate the potential value that can be added by economists. Though the book includes nicely constructed and vivid essays on a range of economic topics, in its main ambition it largely falls short. The most serious problem is endorsement of the so-called strong reciprocity hypothesis that has been promoted by several prominent economists, but does not pass muster with biologists.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EconomicsUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Center for Economic Analysis of RiskGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

Personalised recommendations