Biological and Moral Altruism

  • Camilo J. Cela Conde
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 186)


The interest shown by sociobiologists in examining the phenomena of altruism comes, as it is well known, from the paradoxical character of altruistic behavior. Although natural selection favors individual fitness, some beings (among which we find ants, rats and humans) perform acts that can be denominated as “altruistic” and that diminish their fitness, generally in favor of a relative’s fitness.


Moral Behavior Altruistic Behavior Moral Sense Maximization Theory Hominid Evolution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Baer, D. and McEachron, D.L. (1982), “A review of selected sociobiological principles: application to hominid evolution.” J. Social_Biol. Struct., 5: 69–90 and 121–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bertram, B.C.R. (1982), “Problems with altruism”. In King’s College Sociobiological group (ed.) Current Problems_in Sociobiology: 251–267.Google Scholar
  3. Boehm, C. (1982), “The evolutionary development of morality as an effect of dominance behavior and conflict interference.” J. of Social Biol. Struct., 5: 413–421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bolles, R.C. and Fanselow, M.S. (1982), “Endorphins and behavior.” Annual Review of Psychology, 33: 87–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bridgeman, D. (ed.) (1983), The Nature of prosocial Development: Interdisciplinary Theories and Strategies. New York, N.Y.: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  6. Campbell, D.T. (1983), “The Two Distinct Routes Beyond Kin Selection to Unsociability: Implications for the Humanities and Social Science.” In Bridgeman (ed.), The Nature of prosocial Development: 11–41.Google Scholar
  7. Cela-Conde, C.J. (1987), On Genes, Gods And Tyrants. Dordrecht: Reidel.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cela-Conde, C.J. (1990), “On the Phylogeny of Human Altruism.” Journal Of Human Evolution, 5: 139–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Danielli, J.F., 1980, “Altruism and the internal reward system or the opium of the people.” J. Social Biol Struct., 3: 87–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Glick, B.B., Baughman, W.L. Jensen, J.N. and Phoenix, C.H. (1982), “Endogenous Opiate Systems and Primate Reproduction: Inability of Naloxone to Induce Sexual Activity in Rhesus Males.” Archives of Sexual Behavior, 11: 267–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hamilton, 1964, “The Genetical Evolution of Social Behavior.” J. Theoret. Biol., 7: 1–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Keverne, E.B., Martensz, N.D. and Tuite, B. (1989), “Beta-endorphin concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid of monkeys are influenced by grooming relationships.” Psychoneuroendocrinology, 14: 155–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. King’s College Sociobiological Group (ed.) (1982), Current Problems in Sociobiology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Lumsden, C.J., and E.O. Wilson, 1981, Genes, Mind and culture: The Revolutionary Process. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Lumsden, C.J., and E.O. Wilson, 1983, Promethean Fire. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Martensz, N.D., Vellucci, S.V., Keverne, E.B. and Herbert, J. (1986), “Beta-endorphin levels in the cerebrospinal fluid of male talapoin monkeys in social groups related to dominance status and the luteinizing hormone response to naloxone.” Neuroscience, 18: 651–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Pancheri, P., Zichella, L., Fraioli, F., Carilli, L., Perrone, G., Biondi, M., Fabbri, A., Santoro, A. and Moretti, C. (1985), “ACTH, Beta-endorphins and Metenkephalin: peripheral modifications during the stress of human labor.” Psychoneuroendocrinology, 10: 289–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Rawls, J. (1975), A Theory of Justice. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Rose, M.R. (1983), “Hominid evolution and social science,” J. Social biol. Struct., 6: 29–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Settle, T. (1993), “‘Fitness’ and ‘Altruism’: Traps for the Unwary, Bystander and Biologist Alike.” Biology And Philosophy, 8: 61–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Simon, H.A. (1985), “Human Nature in Politics: The Dialogue of Psychology with Political Science.” The American Political Science Review, 79: 293–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Trivers, R.L., 1971, “The Evolution of Reciprocal Altruism.” Quarterly Review of Biology, 46: 35–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Voorzanger, B., 1984, “Altruism in Sociobiology: a Conceptual Analysis.” Journal Of Human Evolution, 13: 33–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Waddington, C.H., 1941, “The relations Between Science and Ethics.” Nature, 148: 270–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Westermeyer, J., Janet Bush, M.S. and Winthrob, R. (1978), “A Review of the Relationship Between Dysphoria, Pleasure, and Human Bonding.” Journal Of Clinical Psychiatry, 39: 415–195; 423–424.Google Scholar
  26. Wilson, D.S. (1992), “On the Relationship Between Evolutionary and Psychological Definitions of Altruism and Selfishness.” Biology and Philosophy, 7: 61–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Camilo J. Cela Conde
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidad de las Islas BalearesSpain

Personalised recommendations