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A Cooperative SpeciesHuman Reciprocity and Its Evolution$
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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

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The Coevolution of Institutions and Behaviors

The Coevolution of Institutions and Behaviors

(p.111) 7 The Coevolution of Institutions and Behaviors
A Cooperative Species

Samuel Bowles

Herbert Gintis

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how group competition favored the coevolution of the distinctive institutions of the hunter-gatherer society along with a predisposition for altruistic behavior. It first considers how selective extinction can favor the evolution of an altruistic trait before discussing the notion of reproductive leveling, along with genetic differentiation between groups. It then discusses the link between deme extinction and the evolution of altruism; archaeological, ethnographic and genetic evidence from Australia; and the coevolution of institutions and altruism. It also presents the results of simulations on the gene-culture coevolution, showing that reproductive leveling and within-group segmentation could have coevolved with altruism.

Keywords:   group competition, institutions, hunter-gatherer society, selective extinction, reproductive leveling, genetic differentiation, altruism, Australia, gene-culture coevolution, within-group segmentation

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