Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Cooperative SpeciesHuman Reciprocity and Its Evolution$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151250

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151250.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2022

The Sociobiology of Human Cooperation

The Sociobiology of Human Cooperation

(p.46) 4 The Sociobiology of Human Cooperation
A Cooperative Species

Samuel Bowles

Herbert Gintis

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the sociobiology of human cooperation. Given the tendency of people to copy the successful and the fact that natural selection favors the more fit, the chapter asks how our altruistic preferences overcame the cultural and biological evolutionary handicaps entailed by the reduced payoffs that they elicited. To answer this question, two major biological explanations of cooperation are discussed: inclusive fitness in either a kin-based or a multi-level selection model, and reciprocal altruism and its indirect reciprocity and costly signaling variants. The chapter explores a model of inclusive fitness based on group differentiation and competition, clarifying what is meant by multi-level selection and how it works. It also discusses models that address equilibrium selection, the link between standing strategy and indirect reciprocity, and positive assortment. Finally, it assesses the mechanisms and motives underlying helping behavior.

Keywords:   sociobiology, human cooperation, inclusive fitness, multi-level selection, reciprocal altruism, indirect reciprocity, costly signaling, equilibrium selection, positive assortment, helping behavior

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.