The Evolutionary Program in Social Philosophy

Francesco Guala

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195392753
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The Evolutionary Program in Social Philosophy

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science
  • Social and Political Philosophy


Show Summary Details


This article deals mainly with disagreements that are internal to the evolutionary program. It introduces some theoretical concepts from the theory of games and evolutionary biology, focusing in particular on dilemmas of cooperation. The coordination and bargaining games are covered. The evolutionary approaches based on evolutionarily stable strategies, kin selection, assortativity, and reciprocity have dominated the theoretical literature for the last three decades. The Nash bargaining solution can be very unjust in asymmetric games, so evolutionary game theory loses some of its appeal in these contexts. Bargaining appears to reflect the balance of power and seems to be affected by local norms of fairness. Strong reciprocity theorists have argued that reciprocal motives are robust enough to be represented as social preferences governing individual behavior across a variety of decision tasks. Strong reciprocity models indicate that cooperation may survive even when some of these constraints are relaxed.

Keywords: evolutionary program; cooperation; theory of games; evolutionary biology; bargaining games; Nash bargaining solution; strong reciprocity; coordination

Article.  10011 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science ; Social and Political Philosophy

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.