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  1. 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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  • 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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  • 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 assume that either there is little variation across human populations, or that these 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 substantial variability in experimental results across (...)
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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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  • 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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  • ‘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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  • 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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  • Defusing the Demandingness Objection: Unreliable Intuitions.Matthew Braddock - 2013 - Journal of Social Philosophy 44 (2):169-191.
    Dogged resistance to demanding moral views frequently takes the form of The Demandingness Objection. Premise (1): Moral view V demands too much of us. Premise (2): If a moral view demands too much of us, then it is mistaken. Conclusion: Therefore, moral view V is mistaken. Objections of this form harass major theories in normative ethics as well as prominent moral views in applied ethics and political philosophy. The present paper does the following: (i) it clarifies and distinguishes between various (...)
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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.
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  • Cultural Evolution and the Social Sciences: A Case of Unification?Catherine Driscoll - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (1-2):7.
    This paper addresses the question of how to understand the relationship between Cultural Evolutionary Science and the social sciences, given that they coexist and both study cultural change. I argue that CES is best understood as having a unificatory or integrative role between evolutionary biology and the social sciences, and that it is best characterized as a bridge field; I describe the concept of a bridge field and how it relates to other non-reductionist accounts of unification or integration used in (...)
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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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  • Human, Machines, and the Interpretation of Formal Systems.Porfírio Silva - 2016 - AI and Society 31 (2):157-169.
  • Neither Adaptive Thinking nor Reverse Engineering: Methods in the Evolutionary Social Sciences.Catherine Driscoll - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (1):59-75.
    In this paper I argue the best examples of the methods in the evolutionary social sciences don’t actually resemble either of the two methods called “Adaptive Thinking” or “Reverse Engineering” described by evolutionary psychologists. Both AT and RE have significant problems. Instead, the best adaptationist work in the ESSs seems to be based on and is aiming at a different method that avoids the problems of AT and RE: it is a behavioral level method that starts with information about both (...)
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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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  • The Moral Basis of Prosperity and Oppression: Altruism, Other-Regarding Behaviour and Identity: Kaushik Basu.Kaushik Basu - 2010 - Economics and Philosophy 26 (2):189-216.
    Much of economics is built on the assumption that individuals are driven by self-interest and economic development is an outcome of the free play of such individuals. On the few occasions that the existence of altruism is recognized in economics, the tendency is to build this from the axiom of individual selfishness. The aim of this paper is to break from this tradition and to treat as a primitive that individuals are endowed with the ‘cooperative spirit’, which allows them to (...)
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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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  • 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? The two positions discussed are the incentives thesis 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 discussed whether norm following and norm emergence are utility maximizing. (...)
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  • A Stag Hunt with Signalling and Mutual Beliefs.Jelle de Boer - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (4):559-576.
    The problem of cooperation for rational actors comprises two sub problems: the problem of the intentional object (under what description does each actor perceive the situation?) and the problem of common knowledge for finite minds (how much belief iteration is required?). I will argue that subdoxastic signalling can solve the problem of the intentional object as long as this is confined to a simple coordination problem. In a more complex environment like an assurance game signals may become unreliable. Mutual beliefs (...)
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  • Social Norms or Social Preferences?Ken Binmore - 2010 - Mind and Society 9 (2):139-157.
    Some behavioral economists argue that the honoring of social norms can be adequately modeled as the optimization of social utility functions in which the welfare of others appears as an explicit argument. This paper suggests that the large experimental claims made for social utility functions are premature at best, and that social norms are better studied as equilibrium selection devices that evolved for use in games that are seldom studied in economics laboratories.
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • On the Limits of Rational Choice Theory.Geoffrey M. Hodgson - 2012 - Economic Thought 1 (1).
    The value of rational choice theory for the social sciences has long been contested. It is argued here that, in the debate over its role, it is necessary to distinguish between claims that people maximise manifest payoffs, and claims that people maximise their utility. The former version has been falsified. The latter is unfalsifiable, because utility cannot be observed. In principle, utility maximisation can be adapted to fit any form of behaviour, including the behaviour of non-human organisms. Allegedly 'inconsistent' behaviour (...)
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  • Examining Punishment at Different Explanatory Levels.Miguel dos Santos & Claus Wedekind - 2012 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):23-24.
    Experimental studies on punishment have sometimes been over-interpreted not only for the reasons Guala lists, but also because of a frequent conflation of proximate and ultimate explanatory levels that Guala's review perpetuates. Moreover, for future analyses we may need a clearer classification of different kinds of punishment.
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  • Listening, Really Listening: A Response to Graafland, Binmore and Ferber onThe Bourgeois Virtues.Deirdre McCloskey - 2009 - Journal of Economic Methodology 16 (2):221-232.
  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Trust Matters: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Northern Ghana and Oaxaca Groups.Cristina Acedo-Carmona & Antoni Gomila - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
  • 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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  • “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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  • Altruistic Emotional Motivation: An Argument in Favour of Psychological Altruism.Christine Clavien - 2012 - In Katie Plaisance & Thomas Reydon (eds.), Boston Studies in Philosophy of Science. Springer Press.
    In this paper, I reframe the long-standing controversy between ‘psychological egoism’, which argues that human beings never perform altruistic actions, and the opposing thesis of ‘psychological altruism’, which claims that human beings are, at least sometimes, capable of acting in an altruistic fashion. After a brief sketch of the controversy, I begin by presenting some representative arguments in favour of psychological altruism before showing that they can all be called into question by appealing to the idea of an unconscious self-directed (...)
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  • The Space for Justice in Social Animals.Hans Johann Glock & M. Christen - 2012 - .
    While differentialists deny that non-linguistic animals can have a sense of justice, assimilationists credit some animals with such an advanced moral attitude. We approach this debate from a philosophical perspective. First, we outline the history of the notion of justice in philosophy and how various facets of that notion play a role in contemporary empirical investigations of justice among humans. On this basis, we develop a scheme for the elements of justice-relevant situations and for criteria of justice that should be (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Religious Solidarity: The Hand Grenade Experiment.Joseph Bulbulia & Andrew Mahoney - 2008 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 8 (3-4):295-320.
    We describe the results of an experiment testing for the presence of strong altruism among Christians in New Zealand. The study examined anonymous participant generosity to cohort. We found that in modified dictator games, anonymous Christians in New Zealand gave significantly more to Canadian Christians than anonymous New Zealand citizens gave to their fellow citizens. The gifting opportunities occurred after anonymous benefactors observed recipients willingly undertake costly acts of group commitment. We found that mean gifting after witnessing a fellow group (...)
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  • Eager for Fairness or for Revenge? Psychological Altruism in Economics: Christine Clavien and Rebekka A. Klein.Christine Clavien - 2010 - Economics and Philosophy 26 (3):267-290.
    To understand the human capacity for psychological altruism, one requires a proper understanding of how people actually think and feel. This paper addresses the possible relevance of recent findings in experimental economics and neuroeconomics to the philosophical controversy over altruism and egoism. After briefly sketching and contextualizing the controversy, we survey and discuss the results of various studies on behaviourally altruistic helping and punishing behaviour, which provide stimulating clues for the debate over psychological altruism. On closer analysis, these studies prove (...)
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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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  • A Mutualistic Approach to Morality: The Evolution of Fairness by Partner Choice.Nicolas Baumard, Jean-Baptiste André & Dan Sperber - 2013 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (1):59-122.
    What makes humans moral beings? This question can be understood either as a proximate question or as an ultimate question. The question is about the mental and social mechanisms that produce moral judgments and interactions, and has been investigated by psychologists and social scientists. The question is about the fitness consequences that explain why humans have morality, and has been discussed by evolutionary biologists in the context of the evolution of cooperation. Our goal here is to contribute to a fruitful (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.
  • Margaret Schabas * The Natural Origins of Economics.Jonathan Grose - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):433-436.
  • 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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  • Gender-Biased Expectations of Altruism in Adolescents.Mauricio Salgado - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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