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  1. The Property Equilibrium in a Liberal Social Order (or How to Correct Our Moral Vision).Gerald Gaus - 2011 - Social Philosophy and Policy 28 (2):74-101.
    The “welcome return” to “substantive political philosophy” that Rawls'sA Theory of Justicewas said to herald has resulted in forty years of proposals seeking to show that philosophical reflection leads to the demonstrable truth of almost every and any conceivable view of the justice of property rights. Select any view—from the justice of unregulated capitalist markets to the most extreme forms of egalitarianism—and one will find that some philosophers have proclaimed that rational reflection uniquely leads to its justice. This is, I (...)
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  • The weirdest people in the world?Joseph Henrich, Steven J. Heine & Ara Norenzayan - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):61-83.
    Behavioral scientists routinely publish broad claims about human psychology and behavior in the world's top journals based on samples drawn entirely from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) societies. Researchers – often implicitly – assume that either there is little variation across human populations, or that these “standard subjects” are as representative of the species as any other population. Are these assumptions justified? Here, our review of the comparative database from across the behavioral sciences suggests both that there is (...)
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  • The weirdest people in the world?Joseph Henrich, Steven J. Heine & Ara Norenzayan - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):61-83.
    Behavioral scientists routinely publish broad claims about human psychology and behavior in the world's top journals based on samples drawn entirely from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) societies. Researchers – often implicitly – assume that either there is little variation across human populations, or that these “standard subjects” are as representative of the species as any other population. Are these assumptions justified? Here, our review of the comparative database from across the behavioral sciences suggests both that there is (...)
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  • ‘The Thorny and Arduous Path of Moral Progress’: Moral Psychology and Moral Enhancement.Chris Zarpentine - 2013 - Neuroethics 6 (1):141-153.
    The moral enhancement of humans by biological or genetic means has recently been urged as a response to the pressing concerns facing human civilization. In this paper, I argue that proponents of biological moral enhancement have misrepresented the facts of human moral psychology. As a result, the likely effectiveness of traditional methods of moral enhancement has been underestimated, relative to biological or genetic means. I review arguments in favor of biological moral enhancement and argue that the complexity of moral psychology (...)
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  • The Human Behavioral Ecology of Contemporary World Issues.Bram Tucker & Lisa Rende Taylor - 2007 - Human Nature 18 (3):181-189.
    Human behavioral ecology (HBE) began as an attempt to explain human economic, reproductive, and social behavior using neodarwinian theory in concert with theory from ecology and economics, and ethnographic methods. HBE has addressed subsistence decision-making, cooperation, life history trade-offs, parental investment, mate choice, and marriage strategies among hunter-gatherers, herders, peasants, and wage earners in rural and urban settings throughout the world. Despite our rich insights into human behavior, HBE has very rarely been used as a tool to help the people (...)
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  • Applying Behavioral Ecology and Behavioral Economics to Conservation and Development Planning: An Example from the Mikea Forest, Madagascar. [REVIEW]Bram Tucker - 2007 - Human Nature 18 (3):190-208.
    Governments and non-govermental organizations (NGOs) that plan projects to conserve the environment and alleviate poverty often attempt to modify rural livelihoods by halting activities they judge to be destructive or inefficient and encouraging alternatives. Project planners typically do so without understanding how rural people themselves judge the value of their activities. When the alternatives planners recommend do not replace the value of banned activities, alternatives are unlikely to be adopted, and local people will refuse to participate. Human behavioral ecology and (...)
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  • Individual fairness in Harsanyi’s utilitarianism: operationalizing all-inclusive utility. [REVIEW]Stefan T. Trautmann - 2010 - Theory and Decision 68 (4):405-415.
    Fairness can be incorporated into Harsanyi’s utilitarianism through all-inclusive utility. This retains the normative assumptions of expected utility and Pareto-efficiency, and relates fairness to individual preferences. It makes utilitarianism unfalsifiable, however, if agents’ all-inclusive utilities are not explicitly specified. This note proposes a two-stage model to make utilitarian welfare analysis falsifiable by specifying all-inclusive utilities explicitly through models of individual fairness preferences. The approach is applied to include fairness in widely discussed allocation examples.
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  • Risk Attitude in the DuLong Minority Ethnicity of China.Lili Tan, Siyuan Li & Xiaomin Zhang - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    Prospect theory predicts a four-fold risk attitude, which means that people are risk seeking for low-probability gain and high-probability loss and risk averse for low-probability loss and high-probability gain because they overweight probability when it is low. The four-fold pattern of risk attitude has been supported by several former studies with mainstream industrialized populations but has never previously been tested in a non-industrialized society. In this work, we examined the robustness of the four-fold risk attitude in the DuLong minority ethnicity (...)
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  • How could a “blind” evolutionary process have made human moral beliefs sensitive to strongly universal, objective moral standards?William J. Talbott - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (5):691-708.
    The evolutionist challenge to moral realism is the skeptical challenge that, if evolution is true, it would only be by chance, a “happy coincidence” as Sharon Street puts it, if human moral beliefs were true. The author formulates Street’s “happy coincidence” argument more precisely using a distinction between probabilistic sensitivity and insensitivity introduced by Elliott Sober. The author then considers whether it could be rational for us to believe that human moral judgments about particular cases are probabilistically sensitive to strongly (...)
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  • Satisficing, preferences, and social interaction: a new perspective.Wynn C. Stirling & Teppo Felin - 2016 - Theory and Decision 81 (2):279-308.
    Satisficing is a central concept in both individual and social multiagent decision making. In this paper we first extend the notion of satisficing by formally modeling the tradeoff between costs and decision failure. Second, we extend this notion of “neo”-satisficing into the context of social or multiagent decision making and interaction, and model the social conditioning of preferences in a satisficing framework.
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  • Protecting rainforest realism: James Ladyman, Don Ross: Everything must go: metaphysics naturalized, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007, pp. 368 £49.00 HB.P. Kyle Stanford, Paul Humphreys, Katherine Hawley, James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2010 - Metascience 19 (2):161-185.
    Reply in Book Symposium on James Ladyman, Don Ross: 'Everything must go: metaphysics naturalized', Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
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  • The Faith of Sacrifice: Leadership Trade-Offs in an Afro-Brazilian Religion.Montserrat Soler - 2016 - Human Nature 27 (4):372-394.
    Despite secular trends in some countries, prestige-based authority in the form of religious leadership remains hugely influential in the everyday lives of millions of people around the world. Here, the costs and benefits of religious leadership are explored in an urban setting in northeastern Brazil. An economic game, within-group cooperation questionnaires, and social network analyses were carried out among adherents of an Afro-Brazilian religion. Results reveal that leaders display high levels of religious commitment and disproportionally provide cooperative services to group (...)
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  • How to be an anti-reductionist.Mona Simion & Christoph Kelp - 2020 - Synthese 197 (7):2849-2866.
    One popular view in recent years takes the source of testimonial entitlement to reside in the intrinsically social character of testimonial exchanges. This paper looks at two extant incarnations of this view, what we dub ‘weak’ and ‘modest’ social anti-reductionism, and questions the rationales behind their central claims. Furthermore, we put forth an alternative, strong social anti-reductionist account, and show how it does better than the competition on both theoretical and empirical grounds.
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  • Human, machines, and the interpretation of formal systems.Porfírio Silva - 2016 - AI and Society 31 (2):157-169.
    There are plenty of intelligent machines in our world today: digital computers and autonomous robots. At the heart of each of these machines there are automatic formal systems (programs running on a digital computer). Now, if the interpretation of a formal system does not belong to the formal system itself, if the interpretation has to be added, it is worth asking: in the case of these intelligent machines that are massively interspersed in our social interactions, where does the interpretation come (...)
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  • Culture, neurobiology, and human behavior: new perspectives in anthropology.Isabella Sarto-Jackson, Daniel O. Larson & Werner Callebaut - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (5):729-748.
    Our primary goal in this article is to discuss the cross-talk between biological and cultural factors that become manifested in the individual brain development, neural wiring, neurochemical homeostasis, and behavior. We will show that behavioral propensities are the product of both cultural and biological factors and an understanding of these interactive processes can provide deep insights into why people behave the way they do. This interdisciplinary perspective is offered in an effort to generate dialog and empirical work among scholars interested (...)
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  • Gender-Biased Expectations of Altruism in Adolescents.Mauricio Salgado - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  • The Social Strategy Game.Stacey L. Rucas, Michael Gurven, Hillard Kaplan & Jeffrey Winking - 2010 - Human Nature 21 (1):1-18.
    This paper examines social determinants of resource competition among Tsimane Amerindian women of Bolivia. We introduce a semi-anonymous experiment (the Social Strategy Game) designed to simulate resource competition among women. Information concerning dyadic social relationships and demographic data were collected to identify variables influencing resource competition intensity, as measured by the number of beads one woman took from another. Relationship variables are used to test how the affiliative or competitive aspects of dyads affect the extent of prosociality in the game. (...)
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  • Why Social Science is Biological Science.Alex Rosenberg - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (3):341-369.
    The social sciences need to take seriously their status as divisions of biology. As such they need to recognize the central role of Darwinian processes in all the phenomena they seek to explain. An argument for this claim is formulated in terms of a small number of relatively precise premises that focus on the nature of the kinds and taxonomies of all the social sciences. The analytical taxonomies of all the social sciences are shown to require a Darwinian approach to (...)
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  • Response to our critics.Peter J. Richerson & Robert Boyd - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):301-315.
  • Five Misunderstandings About Cultural Evolution.Peter Richerson - 2008 - Human Nature 19 (2):119-137.
    Recent debates about memetics have revealed some widespread misunderstandings about Darwinian approaches to cultural evolution. Drawing from these debates, this paper disputes five common claims: (1) mental representations are rarely discrete, and therefore models that assume discrete, gene-like particles (i.e., replicators) are useless; (2) replicators are necessary for cumulative, adaptive evolution; (3) content-dependent psychological biases are the only important processes that affect the spread of cultural representations; (4) the “cultural fitness” of a mental representation can be inferred from its successful (...)
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  • The rich detail of cultural symbol systems.Dwight W. Read - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (4):434-435.
    The goal of forming a science of intentional behavior requires a more richly detailed account of symbolic systems than is assumed by the authors. Cultural systems are not simply the equivalent in the ideational domain of culture of the purported Baldwin Effect in the genetic domain. © 2014 Cambridge University Press.
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  • Applying Signaling Theory to Traditional Cultural Rituals.Craig T. Palmer & Christina Nicole Pomianek - 2007 - Human Nature 18 (4):295-312.
    The branch of evolutionary theory known as signaling theory attempts to explain various forms of communication. Social scientists have explained many traditional rituals as forms of communication that promote cooperative social relationships among participants. Both evolutionists and social scientists have realized the importance of trust for the formation and maintenance of cooperative social relationships. These factors have led to attempts to apply signaling theory to traditional cultural rituals in various ways. This paper uses the traditional ritual of mumming in small (...)
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  • Norms and rationality. Is moral behavior a form of rational action?Karl-Dieter Opp - 2013 - Theory and Decision 74 (3):383-409.
    This article addresses major arguments in the controversy about the “rationality” of moral behavior: can moral behavior be explained by rational choice theory (RCT)? The two positions discussed are the incentives thesis (norms are incentives as any other costs and benefits) and the autonomy thesis claiming that moral behavior has nothing to do with utility. The article analyses arguments for the autonomy thesis by J. Elster, A. Etzioni, and J. G. March and J. P. Olsen. Finally, the general claim is (...)
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  • Economic Writing on the Pressing Problems of the Day: The Roles of Moral Intuition and Methodological Confusion.Julie A. Nelson - 2010 - Revue de Philosophie Économique 11 (2):37.
  • Two Strands of Field Experiments in Economics: A Historical-Methodological Analysis.Michiru Nagatsu & Judith Favereau - 2020 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (1):45-77.
    While the history and methodology of laboratory experiments in economics have been extensively studied by philosophers, those of field experiments have not attracted much attention until recently. What is the historical context in which field experiments have been advocated? And what are the methodological rationales for conducting experiments in the field as opposed to in the lab? This article addresses these questions by combining historical and methodological perspectives. In terms of history, we show that the movement toward field experiments in (...)
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  • Towards a unified science of cultural evolution.Alex Mesoudi, Andrew Whiten & Kevin N. Laland - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):329-347.
    We suggest that human culture exhibits key Darwinian evolutionary properties, and argue that the structure of a science of cultural evolution should share fundamental features with the structure of the science of biological evolution. This latter claim is tested by outlining the methods and approaches employed by the principal subdisciplines of evolutionary biology and assessing whether there is an existing or potential corresponding approach to the study of cultural evolution. Existing approaches within anthropology and archaeology demonstrate a good match with (...)
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  • Cognitive systems for revenge and forgiveness.Michael E. McCullough, Robert Kurzban & Benjamin A. Tabak - 2013 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (1):1-15.
    Minimizing the costs that others impose upon oneself and upon those in whom one has a fitness stake, such as kin and allies, is a key adaptive problem for many organisms. Our ancestors regularly faced such adaptive problems. One solution to this problem is to impose retaliatory costs on an aggressor so that the aggressor and other observers will lower their estimates of the net benefits to be gained from exploiting the retaliator in the future. We posit that humans have (...)
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  • Hadza Cooperation.Frank W. Marlowe - 2009 - Human Nature 20 (4):417-430.
    Strong reciprocity is an effective way to promote cooperation. This is especially true when one not only cooperates with cooperators and defects on defectors (second-party punishment) but even punishes those who defect on others (third-party, “altruistic” punishment). Some suggest we humans have a taste for such altruistic punishment and that this was important in the evolution of human cooperation. To assess this we need to look across a wide range of cultures. As part of a cross-cultural project, I played three (...)
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  • WEIRD languages have misled us, too.Asifa Majid & Stephen C. Levinson - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):103-103.
    The linguistic and cognitive sciences have severely underestimated the degree of linguistic diversity in the world. Part of the reason for this is that we have projected assumptions based on English and familiar languages onto the rest. We focus on some distortions this has introduced, especially in the study of semantics.
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  • Kinship, Family, and Gender Effects in the Ultimatum Game.Shane J. Macfarlan & Robert J. Quinlan - 2008 - Human Nature 19 (3):294-309.
    Kinship and reciprocity are two main predictors of altruism. The ultimatum game has been used to study altruism in many small-scale societies. We used the ultimatum game to examine effects of individuals’ family and kin relations on altruistic behavior in a kin-based horticultural community in rural Dominica. Results show sex-specific effects of kin on ultimatum game play. Average coefficient of relatedness to the village was negatively associated with women’s ultimatum game proposals and had little effect on men’s proposals. Number of (...)
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  • Explaining why experimental behavior varies across cultures: A missing step in “The weirdest people in the world?”.Edouard Machery - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):101-102.
    In this commentary, I argue that to properly assess the significance of the cross-cultural findings reviewed by Henrich et al., one needs to understand better the causes of the variation in performance in experimental tasks across cultures.
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  • IT and society: one theory to rule them all?Bernd Lutterbeck - 2005 - Poiesis and Praxis 4 (1):1-5.
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  • Social Relations Instead of Altruistic Punishment.Anton Leist - 2005 - Analyse & Kritik 27 (1):158-171.
    Ernst Fehr's experimental research on altruistic behaviour aims at superseding the classical homo oeconomicus in micro-economic behaviour theory. This essay discusses Fehr's results from two points of view: rst, in regard to the understanding of social action associated with the term "altruism"; second, in regard to the 'anthropological' strategy of research that is based on the laboratory method. Against the emphasis on altruism it will be argued that it misleads into providing a distorted description of social acting, and that, due (...)
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  • Adam Smith and the Modern Science of Ethics.James Konow - 2012 - Economics and Philosophy 28 (3):333-362.
    Third-party decision-makers, orspectators, have emerged as a useful empirical tool in modern social science research on moral motivation. Spectators of a sort also serve a central role in Adam Smith's moral theory. This paper compares these two types of spectatorship with respect to their goals, methodologies, visions of human nature and emphasis on moral rules. I find important similarities and differences and conclude that this comparison suggests significant opportunities for philosophical ethics to inform empirical and theoretical research on moral preferences (...)
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  • Critical Comments on Experimental, Discursive, and General Social Psychology.Gustav Jahoda - 2013 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 43 (3):341-360.
    The historical background of the contrasting traditions of experimental and discursive social psychologies is outlined, and two illustrative experimental and discursive studies are described in detail and critically scrutinised. Among the major weaknesses of the experimental approach is an increasing tendency towards an a-social computer-mediated procedure and a decontextualised setting. While experimental methods and results are clearly set out, the discursive research presents only small and highly selected fragments of masses of data. Hence the actual ways in which findings are (...)
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  • Social norms and unthinkable options.Ulf Hlobil - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8):2519–2537.
    We sometimes violate social norms in order to express our views and to trigger public debates. Many extant accounts of social norms don’t give us any insight into this phenomenon. Drawing on Cristina Bicchieri’s work, I am putting forward an empirical hypothesis that helps us to understand such norm violations. The hypothesis says, roughly, that we often adhere to norms because we are systematically blind to norm-violating options. I argue that this hypothesis is independently plausible and has interesting consequences. It (...)
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  • Understanding the research program.Joseph Henrich & Maciej Chudek - 2012 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):29-30.
    The target article misunderstands the research program it criticizes. The work of Boyd, Richerson, Fehr, Gintis, Bowles and their collaborators has long included the theoretical and empirical study of models both with and without diffuse costly punishment. In triaging the situation, we aim to (1) clarify the theoretical landscape, (2) highlight key points of agreement, and (3) suggest a more productive line of debate.
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  • Understanding cultural evolution. [REVIEW]David Henderson - 2016 - Metascience 25 (3):469-472.
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  • “Economic man” in cross-cultural perspective: Behavioral experiments in 15 small-scale societies.Joseph Henrich, Robert Boyd, Samuel Bowles, Colin Camerer, Ernst Fehr, Herbert Gintis, Richard McElreath, Michael Alvard, Abigail Barr, Jean Ensminger, Natalie Smith Henrich, Kim Hill, Francisco Gil-White, Michael Gurven, Frank W. Marlowe & John Q. Patton - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (6):795-815.
    Researchers from across the social sciences have found consistent deviations from the predictions of the canonical model of self-interest in hundreds of experiments from around the world. This research, however, cannot determine whether the uniformity results from universal patterns of human behavior or from the limited cultural variation available among the university students used in virtually all prior experimental work. To address this, we undertook a cross-cultural study of behavior in ultimatum, public goods, and dictator games in a range of (...)
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  • The Philosophy of Social Science: Metaphysical and Empirical.Francesco Guala - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (6):954-980.
    opinionated survey paper to be published in the Blackwell’s Philosophy Compass.
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  • Reciprocity: Weak or strong? What punishment experiments do demonstrate.Francesco Guala - 2012 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):1-15.
    Strong Reciprocity theorists claim that cooperation in social dilemma games can be sustained by costly punishment mechanisms that eliminate incentives to free ride, even in one-shot and finitely repeated games. There is little doubt that costly punishment raises cooperation in laboratory conditions. Its efficacy in the field however is controversial. I distinguish two interpretations of experimental results, and show that the wide interpretation endorsed by Strong Reciprocity theorists is unsupported by ethnographic evidence on decentralised punishment and by historical evidence on (...)
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  • Paradigmatic experiments: The ultimatum game from testing to measurement device.Francesco Guala - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):658-669.
    The Ultimatum Game is one of the most successful experimental designs in the history of the social sciences. In this article I try to explain this success—what makes it a “paradigmatic experiment”—stressing in particular its versatility. Despite the intentions of its inventors, the Ultimatum Game was never a good design to test economic theory, and it is now mostly used as a heuristic tool for the observation of nonstandard preferences or as a “social thermometer” for the observation of culture‐specific norms. (...)
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  • Margaret Schabas * The Natural Origins of Economics.Jonathan Grose - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):433-436.
  • The explanatory potential of artificial societies.Till Grüne-Yanoff - 2009 - Synthese 169 (3):539 - 555.
    It is often claimed that artificial society simulations contribute to the explanation of social phenomena. At the hand of a particular example, this paper argues that artificial societies often cannot provide full explanations, because their models are not or cannot be validated. Despite that, many feel that such simulations somehow contribute to our understanding. This paper tries to clarify this intuition by investigating whether artificial societies provide potential explanations. It is shown that these potential explanations, if they contribute to our (...)
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  • How does socio-economic environment influence the distribution of altruism?Hideaki Goto - 2017 - Theory and Decision 82 (1):93-116.
    This paper analyzes how socio-economic environment affects the extent of individual altruism and its distribution within a society. We show that if the socio-economic institution that structures interactions between individuals can be represented by a supermodular game, individuals tend to become more homogeneous in terms of altruism as spillover effects increase. This implies that people living close to one another and engaging in joint production, such as irrigation agriculture in a rural village, are more likely to exhibit similar levels of (...)
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  • The social structure of cooperation and punishment.Herbert Gintis & Ernst Fehr - 2012 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):28-29.
    The standard theories of cooperation in humans, which depend on repeated interaction and reputation effects among self-regarding agents, are inadequate. Strong reciprocity, a predisposition to participate in costly cooperation and the punishment, fosters cooperation where self-regarding behaviors fail. The effectiveness of socially coordinated punishment depends on individual motivations to participate, which are based on strong reciprocity motives. The relative infrequency of high-cost punishment is a result of the ubiquity of strong reciprocity, not its absence.
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  • The future of behavioral game theory.Herbert Gintis - 2011 - Mind and Society 10 (2):97-102.
    Behavioral economics has rejuvenated economic theory and deepened the bonds between economic theory and the other social sciences. Neoclassical economics does not depend on individual preferences being self-regarding. Moreover, in market contexts, laboratory experiments indicate that traditional theory works well. Behavioral economic findings thus enrich and expand neoclassical economics rather than undermining it. In particular, social norms are an emergent property of human sociality, and exist as macrosocial structures that are not reducible to the preferences of individuals. Behavioral economists are (...)
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  • A framework for the unification of the behavioral sciences.Herbert Gintis - 2007 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (1):1-16.
    The various behavioral disciplines model human behavior in distinct and incompatible ways. Yet, recent theoretical and empirical developments have created the conditions for rendering coherent the areas of overlap of the various behavioral disciplines. The analytical tools deployed in this task incorporate core principles from several behavioral disciplines. The proposed framework recognizes evolutionary theory, covering both genetic and cultural evolution, as the integrating principle of behavioral science. Moreover, if decision theory and game theory are broadened to encompass other-regarding preferences, they (...)
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  • A prolegomenon to nonlinear empiricism in the human behavioral sciences.Charles Efferson & Peter J. Richerson - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (1):1-33.
    We propose a general framework for integrating theory and empiricism in human evolutionary ecology. We specifically emphasize the joint use of stochastic nonlinear dynamics and information theory. To illustrate critical ideas associated with historical contingency and complex dynamics, we review recent research on social preferences and social learning from behavioral economics. We additionally examine recent work on ecological approaches in history, the modeling of chaotic populations, and statistical application of information theory.
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  • Paleolithic public goods games: Why human culture and cooperation did not evolve in one step.Benoît Dubreuil - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (1):53-73.
    It is widely agreed that humans have specific abilities for cooperation and culture that evolved since their split with their last common ancestor with chimpanzees. Many uncertainties remain, however, about the exact moment in the human lineage when these abilities evolved. This article argues that cooperation and culture did not evolve in one step in the human lineage and that the capacity to stick to long-term and risky cooperative arrangements evolved before properly modern culture. I present evidence that Homo heidelbergensis (...)
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