By Samuel Bowles, Herbert Gintis

ISBN-10: 0691151253

ISBN-13: 9780691151250

Why do people, uniquely between animals, cooperate in huge numbers to increase initiatives for the typical stable? opposite to the normal knowledge in biology and economics, this beneficiant and civic-minded habit is common and can't be defined just by far-sighted self-interest or a wish to aid shut genealogical kin.

In A Cooperative Species, Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis--pioneers within the new experimental and evolutionary technological know-how of human behavior--show that the principal factor isn't why egocentric humans act generously, yet in its place how genetic and cultural evolution has produced a species during which vast numbers make sacrifices to uphold moral norms and to assist even overall strangers.

The authors describe how, for millions of generations, cooperation with fellow team contributors has been necessary to survival. teams that created associations to guard the civic-minded from exploitation by way of the egocentric flourished and prevailed in conflicts with much less cooperative teams. Key to this approach was once the evolution of social feelings resembling disgrace and guilt, and our capability to internalize social norms in order that appearing ethically grew to become a private aim instead of easily a prudent option to stay away from punishment.

Using experimental, archaeological, genetic, and ethnographic info to calibrate versions of the co-evolution of genes and tradition in addition to prehistoric struggle and different kinds of staff pageant, A Cooperative Species presents a compelling and novel account of the way people got here to be ethical and cooperative.

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Extra resources for A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution

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Here is Christopher Boehm’s (2007) summary, based on the common characteristics of the 154 foraging societies (about half of those in the ethnographic record) thought to approximate ancestral “highly mobile. . storage-free economic systems”: These highly cooperative nomadic multi-family bands typically contain some unrelated families, and band size, while seasonably variable, seems to be around 20–30 individuals with families often moving from one band to another. Band social life is politically egalitarian in that there is always a low tolerance by a group’s mature males for one of their number dominating, bossing, or denigrating the others.

When subjects in the same group are relatively uniform in their contributing behavior, this decay mechanism is attenuated. These experiment show that when those predisposed to cooperate can associate preferentially with like-minded people, cooperation is not difficult to sustain. We return to this basic rule in the next and subsequent chapters. 3 Altruistic Punishment Sustains Cooperation In social dilemmas, strong reciprocators, by punishing free-riders, induce their cooperation in subsequent play, thereby allowing cooperation to be sustained over time.

Subjects were University of Nottingham students. Source: G¨achter, Renner, and Sefton (2008). low contributors in the baseline treatments, and the result was both high contributions and high efficiency levels. In the laboratory, groups solved their free-rider problems by allowing low contributors alone to be punished. Apparently the determination of the punishment system by majority rule made the punishment not only an incentive but also a signal of group norms. This experiment suggests a possible explanation of the Herrmann et al.

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A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution by Samuel Bowles, Herbert Gintis

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