Biology and Philosophy 27 (1):1-27 (2012)
AbstractAdaptationists explain the evolution of religion from the cooperative effects of religious commitments, but which cooperation problem does religion evolve to solve? I focus on a class of symmetrical coordination problems for which there are two pure Nash equilibriums: (1) ALL COOPERATE, which is efficient but relies on full cooperation; (2) ALL DEFECT, which is inefficient but pays regardless of what others choose. Formal and experimental studies reveal that for such risky coordination problems, only the defection equilibrium is evolutionarily stable. The following makes sense of otherwise puzzling properties of religious cognition and cultures as features of cooperative designs that evolve to stabilise such risky exchange. The model is interesting because it explains lingering puzzles in the data on religion, and better integrates evolutionary theories of religion with recent, well-motivated models of cooperative niche construction
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References found in this work
A Treatise of Human Nature: Being an Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of Reasoning Into Moral Subjects.David Hume & D. G. C. Macnabb (eds.) - 1738 - Collins.
The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.Max Weber, Talcott Parsons & R. H. Tawney - 1930 - Charles Scribnerr's Sons.
The Grammar of Society: The Nature and Dynamics of Social Norms.Cristina Bicchieri - 2005 - Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work
How Do Rituals Affect Cooperation?Ronald Fischer, Rohan Callander, Paul Reddish & Joseph Bulbulia - 2013 - Human Nature 24 (2):115-125.
Two Concepts of Belief Strength: Epistemic Confidence and Identity Centrality.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13:1-4.
Examining the Link Between Religiousness and Fitness in a Behavioural Ecological Framework.Janko Međedović - 2020 - Journal of Biosocial Science 52 (5):756-767.
Niche Construction Theory as an Explanatory Framework for Human Phenomena.Efraim Wallach - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8).
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