Chapter

The Fall and Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall and Rise of Altruism in Evolutionary Biology

David Sloan Wilson and Elliott Sober

in Altruism and Altruistic Love

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195143584
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199848119 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143584.003.0017
The Fall and Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall and Rise of Altruism in Evolutionary Biology

Show Summary Details

Preview

Altruism has many meanings both in science and in common language. In multilevel selection theory, “increase” and “decrease” are defined in relative terms. If an individual increases the fitness of its group, relative to other groups, while decreasing its own fitness, relative to other individuals in the same group, then it qualifies as an evolutionary altruist. In evolutionary jargon, phenotypically plastic is termed as “norm of reaction,” and it is portrayed graphically by showing the different environments on the x-axis and the corresponding phenotypes on the y-axis. To characterize a phenotypically plastic organism, we must know its repertoire of responses.

Keywords: altruism; increase; decrease; phenotypically plastic; norm of reaction

Chapter.  4795 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Psychology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.