Article ID: CBB928905488

Hamilton meets causal decision theory (2019)


In this paper, I contrast two mathematically equivalent ways of modeling the evolution of altruism, namely the classical inclusive fitness approach and a more recent, “direct fitness” approach. Though both are usually considered by evolutionists as mere different ways of representing the same causal process (i.e. that of kin selection), I argue that this consensus is misleading, for there is a fundamental ambiguity concerning the causal interpretation of the DF approach. Drawing on an analogy between the structure of inclusive fitness theory and that of causal decision theory (Stalnaker, 1972), I show that only the inclusive fitness framework can provide us with a proper, and unambiguous causal partition of the relevant variables involved in the evolution of altruism.

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Authors & Contributors
Borrello, Mark E.
Schulz, Armin
Tattersall, Ian
Wilson, Robert A.
Gildenhuys, Peter
Shavit, Ayelet
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Philosophy of Science
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Journal of the History of Biology
Social Research
University of Chicago Press
Princeton University Press
Oxford University Press
Evolutionary psychology
Adaptation (biology)
Group selection
Evolutionary developmental biology
Wynne-Edwards, Vero Copner
Gould, Stephen Jay
Lack, David Lambert
Wilson, Edward Osborne
Hamilton, William Donald
Dobzhansky, Theodosius
Time Periods
20th century, late
20th century
19th century
20th century, early
21st century
United States

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