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Reviews For a decade or so Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis have played a central role in the debate on the evolution of cooperation. Building on the literature in experimental economics, they have proposed a number of influential evolutionary models aimed at explaining the ‘paradox’ of human cooperation. The paradox is well known. Cooperation in humans is unique in that it can be sustained among a large number of unrelated individuals, who often contribute to public goods and punish free-riders for seemingly disinterested reasons. The paradox stems from the fact that cooperation brings substantial benefits for the group, but is often costly to the individual. Uncooperative group members are then expected to have a fitness advantage over cooperative ones, which should prevent cooperation from evolving. A Cooperative Species offers a comprehensive review of potential game theoretic answers to this paradox, as well as an updated version of arguments and models presented by Bowles and Gintis over the years.The first two chapters set the stage for the rest of the book. Bowles and Gintis explain why the evolution of cooperation is problematic and introduce the reader to key concepts such as altruism, cooperation, social preferences, social dilemmas and culture. The subsequent http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Economics & Philosophy Cambridge University Press

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References (7)

Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012
ISSN
1474-0028
eISSN
0266-2671
DOI
10.1017/S0266267112000302
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

For a decade or so Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis have played a central role in the debate on the evolution of cooperation. Building on the literature in experimental economics, they have proposed a number of influential evolutionary models aimed at explaining the ‘paradox’ of human cooperation. The paradox is well known. Cooperation in humans is unique in that it can be sustained among a large number of unrelated individuals, who often contribute to public goods and punish free-riders for seemingly disinterested reasons. The paradox stems from the fact that cooperation brings substantial benefits for the group, but is often costly to the individual. Uncooperative group members are then expected to have a fitness advantage over cooperative ones, which should prevent cooperation from evolving. A Cooperative Species offers a comprehensive review of potential game theoretic answers to this paradox, as well as an updated version of arguments and models presented by Bowles and Gintis over the years.The first two chapters set the stage for the rest of the book. Bowles and Gintis explain why the evolution of cooperation is problematic and introduce the reader to key concepts such as altruism, cooperation, social preferences, social dilemmas and culture. The subsequent

Journal

Economics & PhilosophyCambridge University Press

Published: Nov 28, 2012

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