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The Evolution of Morality
Journal Title: PARADIGMI 
Author/s: Stephan White 
Year:  2012 Issue: Language: English 
Pages:  24 Pg. 173-196 FullText PDF:  125 KB
DOI:  10.3280/PARA2012-001010
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It seems clear that cooperation when cheating would go undetected - for example, in many-person prisoner’s dilemmas or "tragedy of the commons" cases - is a precondition of the functioning of modern social institutions. Such cooperation seems difficult to explain in evolutionary terms, however, since those who are disposed to cheat seem to enjoy a systematic advantage relative to those who are not. Further- more, the appeal to mechanisms for the detection and punishment of noncooperation, since those mechanisms themselves presuppose cooperation, merely pushes the problem one step back. In this paper I argue that morality plays an ineliminable role in the explanation of the forms of cooperation in question. Moreover, I provide a schema for the evolution of morality in the face of the advantages that those disposed to cheat apparently enjoy.
Keywords: Cheating, Cooperation, Evolution, Many-person prisoner’s dilemma, Morality, Social institutions.

Stephan White, in "PARADIGMI" 1/2012, pp. 173-196, DOI:10.3280/PARA2012-001010

   

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