[Paleopsych] LibertyGuide.com: Evolutionary Psychology and theSocial Sciences

Eshel Ben-Jacob eshel at tamar.tau.ac.il
Sat Jul 24 09:10:50 UTC 2004

The essay "Evolutionary Psychology and Social Sciences" is based on the idea
that with the recent new discoveries in
genomics we can now apply the Neo-Darwinian paradigm towards social human
behaviour. To quote :

The purpose of this essay is provide an introduction to the field and to
suggest future avenues for
    further research in the intersection between evolutionary biology and
    the humane sciences.It is a fortuitous time for young scholars
interested in the
    application of Darwinian evolution to problems of social science.

I agree that new discoveries might lead to a new understanding of human
cognitive functioning and thus also social behaviour. However, the finding I
refer to question the validity of the Neo-Darwinian paradigm. To put is
simply with in this paradigm there is no room for organisms development of
semantic and pragmatic (linguistic) communication, self-identity
decision-making and other features associated with social intelligence. I
present the arguments considering the most fundamental organisms on earth -
the bacteria which do conduct social behaviour. It can be shown that
Decision-making of organisms is in contradiction with the foundations of
physics unless one realises that Neo-Darwinian picture has to be replaced by
a new understanding of a cybernetic genome (see the additional attached
paper). During last two years there is an accumulated experimental finding
about the crucial role of the once called 'Junk DNA' it can designee and
construct new genes and regulates the dynamics of the gene network.
Metaphorically speaking the coded part of the DNA is just the recipe for a
meal the 'Junk DNA' has the role of the creative chef. A meal prepared by
most of us ( I dare to say) given a recipe from a professional chef will not
be the same he will prepare.

In addition the Neo-Darwinian picture when applied to eukaryotes ( as is
currently done) ignores crucial players - the mitochondria that provide
energy to our cells and play a crucial role in the regulation of our
hormones. They also
produce or participate in the production of all !!! steroid hormones.

Some of the once radical ideas are now considered as a possible option as is
reflected by the fact that they have just published in the opinion paper
"Bacterial Linguistic Communication and Social Intelligence" by Trends in

The attached paper is very close to the final version. If it is used please
give reference as required by the journal to

Article title: Bacterial linguistic communication and social intelligence
Reference: TIMI190
Journal title: Trends in Microbiology
Corresponding author: Dr. B.J. Eshel
First author: Dr. B.J. Eshel
Citation Information: Vol 12/8 pp 366-372

Looking forward to your comments. Comments by Joel and Howard during writing
of the papers made crucial impact on the emerged ideas and their
presentations, Thanks, Eshel

Eshel  Ben Jacob                                     E-mail:
eshel at tamar.tau.ac.il
Professor of Physics                               Home Page:
School of Physics and Astronomy
The Maguy-Glass Chair in Physics of Complex Systems
Tel Aviv University, 69978 Tel Aviv, Israel
President of the Israel Physical Society               Visit the IPS on-line

Tel #'s Country (972) City (3)   Home: (972-3) 644-8265
Office: 640-7845; Secretary: 640-7604; Fax: 642-5787;
Laboratory: 640-8066; 640-8261
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> Evolutionary Psychology and the Social Sciences
> http://www.theihs.org/libertyguide/hsr/hsr.php?id=36&print=1
>                  Evolutionary Psychology and the Social Sciences
>     by [1]Todd Zywicki
>     From [2]Humane Studies Review Vol. 13, No. 1
>     Recent years have seen an explosion in interest in evolutionary
>     biology and its implications for the social sciences. Few areas of
>     social science research have been untouched by the Darwinian
>     revolution currently taking place. Economics, sociology, political
>     science, law, history, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology have
>     seen Darwinian arguments slowly gravitate from the periphery toward
>     the center of their disciplines. The purpose of this essay is to
>     provide an introduction to the field and to suggest future avenues for
>     further research in the intersection between evolutionary biology and
>     the humane sciences.
>     It is a fortuitous time for young scholars interested in the
>     application of Darwinian evolution to problems of social science.
>     Increasing understanding of DNA sequencing, combined with the impetus
>     of the human genome project, have given rise to an unprecedented
>     understanding of the genetic basis of much of our physical and mental
>     natures. These developments have also eroded some of the stigma
>     associated with prior efforts to apply Darwinian evolution to the
>     study of human society, the most recent being E. O. Wilson's
>     Sociobiology, which met with a firestorm of protest when published in
>     the 1975. See E. O. Wilson, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975)
>     (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press). Today the field travels
>     under a variety of names; although the traditional term "sociobiology"
>     is still occasionally used, more common today is evolutionary
>     psychology, which is can be classified as a subset of evolutionary
>     biology of "neo-Darwinism."
>     The negative political reception of Wilson's Sociobiology set back the
>     field for an entire generation of social scientists. This means that
>     there remains a large degree of low-hanging fruit for young scholars
>     to pluck in forming a research agenda in the field. Moreover, because
>     much of the science remains fluid and ongoing, working in the field
>     requires a degree of mental dexterity and the development of new
>     skills that provides a comparative advantage to younger scholars.
>     This essay will not attempt to provide a comprehensive guide to the
>     field of evolutionary psychology. The field is vast and can become
>     technical very quickly. This essay therefore will only attempt to
>     provide an overview and introduction to the field. The sources
>     mentioned will generally be highly comprehensive and generally provide
>     detailed references for those interested in pursuing issues in greater
>     depth. Indeed, this work will not attempt to identify more than a
>     handful of the interesting social science issues that seem to be worth
>     exploring through the lens of evolutionary psychology. Indeed, this
>     portion of the essay is avowedly idiosyncratic and subjective, and is
>     intended primarily to suggest some of the types of questions that can
>     be gainfully addressed through a Darwinian framework.
>     In the remainder of the essay I will first discuss why an
>     understanding of evolutionary psychology is useful for those
>     interested in studying the social sciences. The next section will
>     provide an overview of some of the important concepts that have
>     emerged from evolutionary psychology, focusing in particular on the
>     "four paths to cooperation" that have been identified by scholars. The
>     final section will discuss some of the implications of evolutionary
>     psychology for research in different fields of inquiry.
>     Why Study Evolutionary Psychology?
>     Most classical liberals are somewhat skeptical about the value of
>     studying evolutionary psychology. To some extent this is rooted in the
>     historical association of classical liberalism with the mistaken
>     tenets of "Social Darwinism" at the turn of the century. To some
>     extent this skepticism resides in the frosty reception of sociobiology
>     by a prior generation of scholars. Finally, to some extent this
>     skepticism resides in a misunderstanding of the import of evolutionary
>     psychology, and in particular in the belief that evolutionary
>     psychology believes in the perfect determinacy of human behavior. This
>     latter belief makes evolutionary psychology anathema to those
>     concerned about issues of free will and personal autonomy.
>     This skepticism is unfounded. Social Darwinism was a perversion of the
>     insights of evolutionary psychology. Social Darwinists committed the
>     classic naturalist fallacy, reasoning from the empirical observation
>     that evolution operated according to the principle of the "survival of
>     the fittest" to the normative conclusion that it should be the job of
>     society to weed out the weak so as to further this evolutionary
>     imperative. In so doing, Social Darwinists jumped from the "is" of
>     evolution to the "ought" that the product of natural evolution is
>     morally justified. Interestingly, today some environmentalists are
>     prone to commit the naturalist fallacy in their belief that somehow
>     what is "natural" is morally preferable to that which is not. On the
>     other hand, this does not rule out a belief that what is normatively
>     good for human beings must in some sense be consistent with their
>     fundamental psychological natures. See E. O. Wilson, Consilience: The
>     Unity of Knowledge (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998); R. D. Alexander,
>     The Biology of Moral Systems (Hawthorne, N.Y.: Aldine De Gruyter,
>     1987). This latter argument recognizes the "is-ought" gap, so the
>     naturalistic fallacy is avoided. Nonetheless, it argues that
>     individuals will flourish only if they act consistently with their
>     evolved natures. See Owen D. Jones, "On the Nature of Norms: Biology,
>     Morality, and the Disruption of Order," Michigan Law Review 98:
>     801-832 (Forthcoming 2000).
>     Whether a particular behavior is normatively good or bad cannot be
>     established simply by determining that the actor is "naturally"
>     inclined to behave in such a manner. Certain behaviors can be good or
>     bad only according to an external normative standard. Thus, as
>     discussed below it appears that human beings may be naturally
>     predisposed to engage in trade, act compassionately, and enter into
>     reciprocal arrangements for mutual benefit. By almost any moral code,
>     all of these behaviors are normatively good. By contrast, it also
>     appears that some human beings may be predisposed naturally toward
>     violence and rape. See Randy Thornhill and Craig T. Palmer, A Natural
>     History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion (Cambridge: MIT
>     Press, 2000); Owen D. Jones, "Sex, Culture, and the Biology of Rape:
>     Toward Explanation and Prevention," California Law Review 827-941
>     (1999). The fact that these behaviors are "natural" is irrelevant to
>     the fact that they are universally morally condemned. Finally, other
>     predispositions, such as our tendencies to eat too many candy bars,
>     are morally neutral. The desire to consume sugar served an
>     evolutionary purpose in an era where food was scarce and it was useful
>     to have a built-in craving to encourage us to seek food. The task of
>     the philosopher and social scientist is to understand the degree to
>     which certain predilections are hard-wired into human psychology, and
>     thereby to determine what set of institutions and incentives are
>     necessary to restrain, modify, or channel these predilections into
>     pro-social behavior and away from anti-social behavior.
>     Moreover, evolutionary psychology does not imply biological
>     determinism. Modern biology makes clear, rather, that one's behavior
>     is a function of the mutual interaction between evolved traits and
>     one's environment, or as the case is frequently (if inaccurately) put,
>     between nature and nurture. Indeed, evolution itself is driven by the
>     interaction of biological variation interacting with environmental
>     selection. There are no absolute degrees of fitness, only comparative
>     degrees of fitness relative to a given environment. Evolutionary
>     psychology simply provides evidence of general tendencies that
>     interact with an individual's environment. At the same time,
>     evolutionary psychology rejects the claims of current theorists who
>     argue that one's personality is entirely socially constructed and thus
>     infinitely malleable. As Marxists learned the hard way, there are
>     certain characteristics of human nature that seem to be virtually
>     impossible to eliminate, such as the tendency to prefer the welfare of
>     one's family to strangers, the tendency to free ride on others' labors
>     where possible, and the tendency to seek wealth and status. Thus,
>     although the morality of a given behavior cannot be determined simply
>     by whether it is natural, the recognition that there are certain
>     hard-wired tendencies to human nature may constrain what aspirations
>     are attainable or may provide guidance as to what tools are available
>     to accomplish one's goals. Thus, evolutionary psychology illustrates
>     the folly of the scholarship of recent decades that has tried to
>     ignore the reality of an innate human nature that is not infinitely
>     malleable. More fundamentally, it provides a warning against indulging
>     in the utopian schemes characteristic of the twentieth century, most
>     of which rested on the supposition that human nature could be molded
>     to fit the desires of utopian reformers, rather than recognizing the
>     limits that human nature placed on such schemes.
>     It is now generally accepted that evolutionary biology provides a
>     persuasive explanation for our biological natures, e.g., two arms, two
>     legs, upright gait, vision, hearing, warm-bloodedness, etc. Although
>     evolutionary biology has triumphed for biological evolution, scholars
>     remain reluctant to recognize that evolution has psychological
>     consequences as well. Instead, scholars have preferred to believe that
>     humans remain a tabula rasa, blank personalities subject to molding by
>     social, cultural, legal, political, and economic forces. I have
>     elsewhere dubbed this incongruity, "Darwinism from the neck up,"
>     because even as secular scholars have generally embraced biological
>     Darwinism, they have rejected psychological Darwinism with equally
>     forceful zeal. See Todd J. Zywicki, "The State of Nature and the
>     Nature of the State: A Comment on Grady and McGuire," Journal of
>     Bioeconomics 1(3): 241-261 (1999). The flaw in this reasoning is
>     obvious. Just as we have physically evolved to solve a number of
>     common problems that arose in our evolutionary environment, we have
>     similarly developed psychological skills necessary to operate in the
>     social environment of our evolutionary ancestors. Put more simply,
>     nobody believes that education or culture will make me physically able
>     to dunk a basketball; why are Marxists so optimistic that education,
>     economic, and political reform could make me treat strangers as if
>     they were my genetic kin?
>     For most animals the relevant variable for one's evolutionary fitness
>     turns on the fitness for a given physical environment. Thus, a wolf's
>     fitness will be a function of its ability to hunt down elk and an
>     elk's fitness will be a function of its ability to outrun and evade
>     wolves. For humans, however, the relevant environment primarily is
>     other humans, a social environment rather than a physical environment.
>     Because of the immensely social nature of human societies, one's
>     fitness is not merely a function of the ability to seek prey and to
>     avoid predation. Rather, human societies place a fundamental premium
>     on the ability to interact with other human beings in a social
>     environment. The evolutionary environment for humans is the body of
>     institutions, rules, customs, and expectations of others. Thus, the
>     fundamental evolutionary difficulty for humans is to solve inherently
>     social puzzles as to how to interact with others. Although other
>     animals have some degree of culture, none of them even approximates
>     the complexity of even the simplest human cultures. See F. De Waal,
>     "Cultural Primatology Comes of Age," Nature 399:635-636 (1999). A
>     massive database has been established to collate the various different
>     chimpanzee cultures that researchers have identified. See A. Whiten,
>     et al. "Cultures in Chimpanzees," Nature 399:682-685 (1999). Their
>     results can be found on-line at
>     <[3]http://www.chimp-st-and.ac.uk/cultures/database.htm>.
>     An incongruity arises in that evolutionary psychologists recognize
>     that the social problems that humans must solve are not actually the
>     social problems of today's global economy, but that our minds are
>     molded to solve the social problems of our human ancestors. Our brains
>     and minds (as with our bodies) took on their current configuration in
>     what is generally referred to as the Environment of Evolutionary
>     Adaptedness, or EEA, during the Pleistocene Era several million years
>     ago. During this time our human ancestors lived in small, stable
>     hunter-gatherer bands characterized by stable social groups, repeated
>     interaction over time, and relatively long life spans. In evolutionary
>     terms a few million years is a relatively short amount of time. Thus
>     it is believed that humans have largely the same biological natures as
>     the humans of hunter-gatherer time. Cultural evolution, however,
>     operates much more rapidly than biological evolution. Thus, we live in
>     high-speed global economies characterized by rapid economic change,
>     although our essential natures remain essentially hunter-gatherer in
>     nature. This creates a mismatch between some of our innate desires and
>     the realities we confront on a daily basis. See F. A. Hayek, The Fatal
>     Conceit: The Errors of Socialism (1988) (The Collected Works of F. A.
>     Hayek, W. W. Bartley III ed., Chicago: University of Chicago Press).
>     For Hayek, therefore, the purpose of culture and institutions is to
>     control our self-destructive impulses to impose our small-group
>     sentiments on modern society. Robert Wright, by contrast, builds on
>     the foundation of human sociability and argues that biological and
>     cultural evolution share the common trait that they both have a
>     tendency toward increasing complexity driven by the mutual benefits of
>     "non-zero-sum exchange." See Robert Wright, Nonzero: The Logic of
>     Human Destiny (2000) (New York: Pantheon Books). Unlike Hayek,
>     therefore, Wright views culture and institutions as the extension of
>     an innate tendency to engage in mutually beneficial exchange, without
>     Hayek's emphasis on the small-group setting of the EEA.
>     Just as the study of evolutionary biology should not be interpreted to
>     denigrate the importance of environmental factors, it should also not
>     be interpreted to denigrate the value of free will and purposefulness
>     in human action. It is true that some commentators such as Robert
>     Wright have suggested that evolutionary psychology calls into question
>     the entire concept of free will by reducing human action to a
>     predictable set of impulses. See Robert Wright, The Moral Animal:
>     Evolutionary Psychology and Everyday Life (1994) (New York: Vintage
>     Books). Others, however, have argued that a proper understanding of
>     science and human nature actually enhances the importance of free will
>     and moral decision by recognizing the importance of restraining our
>     anti-social and unhealthy impulses even when tempted to act otherwise.
>     See Pope John Paul II, "Message to Pontifical Academy of Sciences,"
>     The Vatican (Oct. 22, 1996). Studying animal behavior and cooperation,
>     therefore, is useful in the same way that game theory is useful, to
>     provide evidence of how humans might be predicted to act absent the
>     restraints of human nature and social institutions and norms. Studying
>     animal behavior provides insight on possible solutions to various
>     problems of human societies, such as problems of collective action,
>     conflict resolution, and the like. Social animals are confronted with
>     many of the same problems as human societies, of keeping internal
>     peace and resolving conflicts over scarce resources. And they do so
>     without any sophisticated cultural or institutional mechanisms. As
>     evolutionary biologist Lee Dugatkin observes, Lee Dugatkin, Cheating
>     Monkeys and Citizen Bees: The Nature of Cooperation in Animals and
>     Humans (New York: Free Press, 1999), studying human behavior and
>     cooperation:
>     shows us what to expect when the complex web of human social networks,
>         as well as the laws and norms found in all human societies, are
>         absent, and so these studies act as a sort of baseline from which
>         to operate. Animals show us a stripped-down version of what
>         behavior in a given circumstance would look like without moral
>         will and freedom. Only with this understanding of what a
>         particular behavior looks like outside the context of some moral
>         code can we use human morality to focus on and foster cooperation
>         in our species. [4][1]
>     Four Paths to Cooperation
>     Thomas Hobbes famously claimed that absent a central political
>     authority the state of nature would devolve into a war of "all against
>     all." Selfish individuals, he believed, would be unable to cooperate
>     for mutual advantage because of the constant temptation for
>     individuals to take advantage of one another. Stated in modern game
>     theory terms, Hobbes believed that individuals would "defect" in every
>     interaction they had with one another. The insights of evolution rebut
>     Hobbes's belief. All living creatures face certain difficulties
>     maintaining social cooperation and peace. This section will review the
>     "four paths to cooperation" that evolutionary biologists have
>     identified as mechanisms for creating social peace without the
>     necessity of a central rule-making authority. In fact, most
>     cooperation in nature exists not only without legal and political
>     institutions, but also without what has fashionably come to be called
>     "norms" and which previously was called custom. Norms and institutions
>     can extended the sphere of cooperation, but it appears that much
>     cooperative behavior is in fact natural and rooted in human nature. It
>     is likely that the presence of a hard-wired tendency toward
>     cooperation is a necessary condition for the emergence of social
>     cooperation; indeed, in many animal societies it is also a sufficient
>     condition.
>     Although Hobbes's solution was utterly confused, he posed the correct
>     question -- how can selfish individuals be induced to cooperate with
>     one another? Biologists start with a similar reductionist premise.
>     Rather than selfish individuals, however, biologists begin their
>     analysis with selfish genes. See Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (2d
>     edition, 1989) (New York: Oxford University Press). The two are
>     closely related but analytically distinct. Genes are the basic units
>     of natural selection; individuals can be understood as collections of
>     genes. The only measure of success for a gene is its ability to be
>     replicated into a new generation. Genes produce phenotypic traits in
>     human beings, such as intelligence, athleticism, and physical
>     appearance, that when selected for by the environment, affect an
>     individual's likelihood of successfully mating and passing along his
>     or her genetic material to a new generation. Matt Ridley provides an
>     excellent introduction to the ways in which genotypes are reflected in
>     specific human phenotypic traits. See Matt Ridley, Genome: The
>     Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters (London: Fourth Estate,
>     1999). In this sense genes can be figuratively said to be "selfish" in
>     the same way an individual can be said to be selfish (even though
>     genes do not act with "intent"); particular genes "care" only about
>     their own survival into a new generation. Thus, genes are "selfish,"
>     and do not "care" about the plight of any other genes, except to the
>     extent that it helps that particular gene survive into the next
>     generation. In turn, this suggests that individuals will act in the
>     self-interest of his genes.
>     This analysis really just restates the basic question: given the
>     existence of selfish genes, why do we see so many instances of
>     cooperation among animals, including human beings? Lee Dugatkin
>     provides a virtual encyclopedia of documentation and explanation of
>     cooperation among animals in Cooperation Among Animals: An
>     Evolutionary Perspective (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997).
>     Moreover, cooperation in non-human animals is especially puzzling,
>     given the absence of cultural norms or a state to enforce compliance
>     with cooperative behavior.
>     Four mechanisms have been suggested by evolutionary biologists to
>     explain the evolution of cooperation in nature: (1) kin selection, (2)
>     cooperation for mutual advantage, (3) reciprocal altruism, and (4)
>     group selection. In each of these situations, one individual (i.e.,
>     collection of genes) acts altruistically in bestowing a benefit upon
>     some other individual (collection of genes). This is surprising, in
>     that it seems to be inconsistent with the self-interest axiom.
>     Nonetheless, each of these mechanisms potentially makes it more likely
>     that certain genes will be propagated in a new generation. Sometimes
>     the benefit for the genes is direct, as in the kin selection model.
>     For others it is indirect, in that by pursuing cooperation an
>     individual increases his wealth and health, increasing his
>     reproductive capacity relative to less cooperative individuals. This
>     section of the essay will discuss each of these paths to cooperation
>     in turn.
>     Kin Selection
>     Kin selection operates on the premise that the marginal sacrifice of
>     one individual may make that individual relatively worse off, but that
>     the sacrifice may also make that individual's genes better off as a
>     result. For instance, consider the following situation confronting a
>     family of ground squirrels. Amy the ground squirrel is out foraging
>     for food one day with her sisters when she spots a hawk circling
>     above. At this point, Amy has two options: she can either quietly
>     slink back to the lair, leaving the hawk to eat a less-observant
>     sister. Alternatively, she can sound a warning call, thereby alerting
>     Betty, Claire, Denise, Edith, and Francis that a hawk has been spotted
>     and warning them to retreat to the lair. Assume further that if she
>     sounds the call, it will increase her likelihood of being eaten by the
>     hawk by 10% but will reduce the likelihood of her sisters being eaten
>     by 5% each. Will she call the alarm?
>     Surprisingly, the answer is yes for Belding's ground squirrels. See
>     Paul W. Sherman, "Nepotism and the Evolution of Alarm Calls," Science
>     197: 1246-1253 (Sept. 23, 1977). For a less technical presentation,
>     see Lee Dugatkin, Cheating Monkeys and Citizen Bees: The Nature of
>     Cooperation in Animals and Humans (New York: Free Press, 1999).
>     Although it makes it more likely that Amy will be killed, it makes it
>     sufficiently less likely that her sisters will be eaten that it is
>     worth it for her to call the alarm. Even though sounding an alarm call
>     is dangerous to the individual caller's survival, it is favorable
>     toward the caller's genes. Individual ground squirrels (as with most
>     animals) are diploid, meaning that they draw one-half of their
>     chromosomes from each of their two parents (a female mother and a male
>     father). This means that on average Amy shares 50% of her genes with
>     her sisters. Thus, even though Amy's call decreases her likelihood of
>     surviving the hawk attack by 10%, it increases the overall likelihood
>     of saving her sisters by 25% (five sisters times 5% increased
>     likelihood of survival). Because Amy shares on average 50% of her
>     genes with her sisters, sounding the alarm call will increase the
>     likelihood of her genes surviving by 12-1/2% overall (25% times 50%),
>     while costing her only a 10% likelihood of being eaten. Thus, while it
>     is irrational from Amy's individual perspective to call the alarm, it
>     is "rational" from her genes' perspective to induce Amy to call the
>     alarm.
>     This tendency to act altruistically toward one's kin is called
>     "inclusive fitness." See W. D. Hamilton, "The Genetical Evolutionary
>     of Social Behavior, Parts I and II," Journal of Theoretical Biology
>     7:1-52 (1964); J. Maynard Smith, "Group Selection and Kin Selection,"
>     Nature 201:1145-1147 (1964). The theory of inclusive fitness predicts
>     that natural selection will favor altruism among kin: the closer two
>     individuals are related to one another, the lower the costs to the
>     altruist, and the greater the benefits to the recipient. Therefore, if
>     the five individuals that Amy's call would save were grandchildren,
>     rather than her sisters, each individual granddaughter would have only
>     a 25% expected relatedness to Amy. As a result, it would be
>     "irrational" for Amy to sound the alarm, as she would be increasing
>     her likelihood of being attacked by 10%, but only increasing the
>     likelihood of her genes' survival by 6.25%. Restated, natural
>     selection predicts that, on average, we would tend to act more
>     altruistically toward siblings, parents, and children with whom we
>     share an average relatedness of 50% than toward grandparents,
>     grandchildren, aunts, and uncles, with whom we share an average
>     relatedness of only 25%. Interestingly, this theory also provides no
>     instinctive reason why we would act more altruistically toward a
>     spouse than toward a stranger. Thus, the observed tendency to act
>     altruistically towards one's spouse must rest on some other basis than
>     the theory of inclusive fitness.
>     This is not to imply that ground squirrels make such rational
>     calculations in deciding whether to issue an alarm in a given
>     situation ("Let me see, how many sisters and granddaughters are around
>     right now..."). There is a burgeoning literature on how animals
>     determine who is kin and who is not. See P. G. Hepper, Kin Recognition
>     (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991). Most of the methods of
>     identification, such as close inspection of physical features or
>     odors, are relatively costly to perform. Thus, rather than engaging in
>     a close inspection of every member of an animal society, most animals
>     seem to rely on the simple heuristic of treating as kin everyone who
>     grew up in the relevant area (e.g., nest, territory, burrow, etc.). As
>     a rule of thumb, this approach is subject to error, most notably by
>     animal parasites who try to trick other animals into raising their
>     offspring (suck as cuckoos). But in general, treating those with whom
>     you grew up as kin provides a pretty accurate shortcut for determining
>     who is kin and who is not. Thus, it is interesting to note that the
>     so-called "incest taboo" of not being attracted to kin actually
>     appears to be not so much an aversion on being attracted to a
>     relative, but instead is an aversion against being attracted to a
>     person with whom you grew up. See E. A. Westermarck, The History of
>     Human Marriage (New York: Macmillan, 1891). Thus, stepsiblings raised
>     together are rarely attracted to one another, as are very close
>     childhood friends. By contrast, this further suggests that if sexual
>     activity takes place within the family, the most common type will be
>     between father and daughter, because the father is beyond the age
>     where familiarity breeds aversion. See M. Daly and M. Wilson, Sex,
>     Evolution, and Behavior (2d ed., Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1983).
>     So there is no rational calculation as to whether to make an alarm
>     call. The analysis suggests instead that ground squirrels would
>     develop an instinct to call alarms when they are near their homes
>     because in general they will be surrounded by multiple close family
>     members and on net it will help the squirrels genes to reproduce. This
>     instinct is merely a tendency, and in fact ground squirrels suppress
>     this instinct when environmental conditions change. First, it is only
>     female ground squirrels who sound alarm calls. This is because in
>     ground squirrel communities males emigrate, while females remain in
>     kin groups. Thus, males tend to be surrounded by individuals with whom
>     they have no genetic relation, thus they become purely interested in
>     their own personal survival. Second, studies have been done of the
>     rare situations where female ground squirrels have been forced to
>     emigrate to new groups. Sure enough, these newcomers are less likely
>     than the incumbents to give alarm calls.
>     Kin selection also explains why ant colonies and beehives have such a
>     high degree of cooperation. Many ants are actually sterile and do not
>     reproduce at all, the ultimate act of individual self-sacrifice. But
>     individual self-sacrifice is not genetic self-sacrifice. Most
>     creatures are diploid for purposes of reproduction, meaning that an
>     offspring requires both a mother and a father for a fertilized egg to
>     reproduce, and therefore draws half her genes from her father and half
>     from her mother, making for a 50% degree of genetic relatedness. Ants,
>     by contrast, are haplodiploid: females are diploid and have two sets
>     of chromosomes (one from each parent), but males arise from
>     unfertilized eggs, thus they only have a mother and have only one set
>     of chromosomes. Unlike most creatures who share a 50% expected genetic
>     relatedness with siblings, ants share an expected 75% expected genetic
>     relatedness with siblings. This high degree of genetic relatedness
>     explains the remarkable social cohesion among ant communities as well
>     as the willingness of individual ants to sacrifice their individual
>     reproduction in order to tend to the feeding and raising of others'
>     offspring.
>     The pull of kin selection, for instance, may explain why it is that
>     the law tends not to contractually enforce promises made between
>     family members. See Charles J. Goetz and Robert E. Scott, "Enforcing
>     Promises: An Examination of the Basis of Contract," Yale Law Journal
>     89: 1261-1359 (1980). Kin selection suggests that at some base level
>     the utility functions of family members are interdependent, and that,
>     for instance, mothers and fathers will tend not to act
>     opportunistically with respect to their children. As a result, when a
>     family member fails to carry through on a promise, we can assume with
>     a high degree of reliability that the breach was due to a sincere
>     regret contingency and was not merely an opportunistic breach. This
>     analysis will also have implications for rules governing inheritance
>     law and other familial relations.
>     On the other hand, it has also been argued that the absence of genetic
>     relationships may help to explain the relatively higher degree of
>     abuse of children raised by stepparents relative to those raised by
>     their natural parents. See M. Daly and M. Wilson, Homicide (Hawthorne,
>     NY: Aldine, 1988); Owen D. Jones, "Evolutionary Analysis in Law: An
>     Introduction and Application to Child Abuse," North Carolina Law
>     Review 1117-1242 (1997). It has been argued that courts should
>     consider such statistical regularities in making child-custody
>     determinations in the event of divorce. See Robin Fretwell Wilson,
>     "Children At Risk: The Sexual Exploitation of Female Children After
>     Divorce," Cornell Law Review 86(2) (Forthcoming 2000).
>     Finally, the innate pull to take care of one's genetic relations has
>     obvious implications for how we think of society as a social organism.
>     It is suggestive of the visceral appeal used in times of war for
>     individuals to pull together with their "brothers and sisters." It
>     also evidences the folly in some current schemes to break down the
>     family as the basic social unit of society. Kin selection theory
>     suggests that it is the family, even more than the individual, that is
>     the basic social unit of society. Thus, while utopian reformers may
>     talk about treating strangers as one's brothers, this rhetoric really
>     tends to miss the point.
>     For kin-based altruism to flourish, little is required in the way of
>     conscious action. Also, its payoff in terms of reproductive fitness is
>     quite direct. Unsurprisingly, therefore, kin-based altruism is
>     ubiquitous in nature. In fact, it is often cited as a basic building
>     block of other forms of altruistic behavior.
>     Cooperation for a Given End
>     A second form of altruistic behavior is cooperation for a given end,
>     or by-product mutualism. Cooperation for a given end exists when there
>     is some goal that can be best accomplished through a group of
>     individuals working together, rather than acting separately. In such
>     situations there is a payoff from teamwork, so long as it is possible
>     to monitor the members of the team to make sure that contribute to the
>     final output.
>     Group hunting provides an excellent example of cooperation for a given
>     end. A pack of wolves hunting together, for instance, will be able to
>     capture more and different types of game than the same wolves hunting
>     alone. Similarly a group of hunter-gatherers generally can capture
>     more and larger game than individual hunter-gatherers hunting alone.
>     In this model, therefore, cooperation arises from the self-interest of
>     the various members of the group. Each of the members of the group
>     benefits individually from the larger production that can be generated
>     by hunting together as a team rather than hunting alone. Hunting
>     together, therefore, produces a social surplus relative to what would
>     be produced hunting individually. For instance, assume that five
>     members of a hunter-gatherer band could, hunting alone, capture one
>     rabbit apiece (five total), but that no single individual could bring
>     down a woolly mammoth. Assume further that if the five individuals
>     worked together, they could kill a woolly mammoth that would provide
>     the food equivalent of eight rabbits. The social surplus from hunting
>     together, therefore, would be the equivalent of three additional
>     rabbits.
>     But there are also costs that are potentially incurred as a result of
>     cooperation for a given end. Group activity raises the threat of free
>     riding by members of the group. For instance, it may be that it is
>     much more dangerous to hunt woolly mammoths than rabbits. Thus, each
>     individual member of the hunting party will have some incentive to lay
>     back and free ride on the efforts of the other members of the party.
>     This may reduce the probability of slaying the mammoth; at the very
>     least it will allow the coward to capture a share of the social
>     surplus despite his unequal contribution to its production. It is
>     interesting, therefore, that societies predicated on a high degree of
>     group hunting have devised a number of norms and practices designed to
>     limit shirking.
>     First, food sharing (absent reciprocal relationships, which are
>     discussed below) is limited only to those goods that actually require
>     joint production to be produced. Thus, for instance, fruits and
>     berries are generally collected through female effort. This production
>     requires no team production, thus labor inputs are directly reflected
>     in the amount of food outputs generated. As a result, these food
>     products are generally consumed within the family and not shared.
>     Among the Ache of Paraguay, plant food and insect grubs are not shared
>     outside the nuclear family, although meat is. Among the Yora of Peru,
>     on "a fishing trip, everybody shares; back at the camp, food is freely
>     shared only in the family, and at all times meat is more widely shared
>     than vegetables. Thus, while fish, monkeys, alligators and turtles are
>     shared, plantains are hidden in the forest until they ripened to
>     prevent neighbors stealing them." [5][2]  See Matt Ridley, The Origins
>     of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation (New York:
>     Viking, 1996). See also K. Hill and H. Kaplan, "Population and
>     Dry-Season Subsistence Strategies of the Recently Contacted Yora of
>     Peru," National Geographic Research 5: 317-334 (1989).
>     Second, group hunting is generally engaged in only when economically
>     efficient. Thus when pursuing small game, animals tend to hunt
>     individually, but when pursuing large game requiring teamwork, animals
>     hunt together. See Dugatkin, Cheating Monkeys at 114-116; D. Scheel
>     and C. Packer, "Group Hunting Behavior of Lions: A Search for
>     Cooperation," Animal Behavior 41: 697-709 (1991). Fish also tend to
>     forage individually unless their environment requires them to hunt
>     together. For instance, it is impossible for an individual or even a
>     small group of wrasse to penetrate the defenses of a single
>     damselfish. Working together in coordinated action, however, a large
>     group of wrasse can distract and overwhelm the damselfish's defenses.
>     Thus, it appears that wrasse work together in plundering damselfish
>     eggs but forage separately when coordinated action is not as
>     necessary. See S. A. Foster, "Acquisition of a Defended Resource: A
>     Benefit of Group Foraging for the Neotropical Wrasse, Thalassoma
>     lucasanum, Environmental Biology of Fishes 19: 215-222 (1987); R. J.
>     Schmitt and S. Strand, "Cooperative Foraging by Yellowtail Seriola
>     lalandei (Carangidae) on Two Species of Fish Prey," Coeia 1982:
>     714-717. Where teamwork is unnecessary the gains to group hunting are
>     small, but the problems of preventing free riding remain constant. As
>     a result, group hunting will be less common.
>     Third, unusually good hunters are rewarded with a disproportionately
>     large share of the social surplus. Skilled chimpanzees, for instance,
>     get first choice of the meat from slain prey, as well as retain
>     primary responsibility for distributing the spoils. See Frans de Waal,
>     Good Natured: The Origins of Right and Wrong in Humans and Other
>     Animals (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996). Skilled
>     hunters in primitive human societies are rewarded not only with
>     primary hunting spoils but also with disproportionate sexual favors
>     from women, who often directly exchange sex for meat. See K. Hill and
>     H. Kaplan, "Tradeoffs in Male and Female Reproductive Strategies among
>     the Ache," in Human Reproductive Behavior (L. Betzig, M. Borgehoff
>     Mulder, and P. Turke eds., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
>     1988); K. Hill and H. Kaplan, "On Why Male Foragers Hunt and Share
>     Food," Current Anthropology 34:701-706 (1994); for a slightly
>     different argument see K. Hawkes, "Why Hunter-Gatherers Work: An
>     Ancient Version of the Problem of Public Goods," Current Anthropology
>     34: 341-361 (1993).
>     Interestingly, the bulk of this analysis rebuts the traditional myth
>     that primitive societies are socialist in orientation. As discussed
>     below, it is true that they are highly egalitarian in their social
>     arrangements (at least as compared to other species), but this social
>     egalitarianism is often misunderstood as economic socialism. Neither
>     chimpanzee bands nor human hunter-gatherer societies are socialist. I
>     am aware of no human or animal society that has sustained an ethic of
>     unconditional sharing of social surplus for very long. It is true that
>     large game is, in fact, shared. But a good deal of sharing is sharing
>     among kin, which is predicted by the kin-group selection model
>     described above. As to non-kin, animal and human societies universally
>     practice an ethic of conditional sharing. An able-bodied individual
>     who could work but chooses not to has no entitlement to the any amount
>     of the social surplus. Male chimpanzees who attempt to free ride by
>     trying to participate in eating without participating in hunting "tend
>     to receive little or nothing." [6][3]  See also C. Boesche and H.
>     Boesch, "Hunting Behavior of Wild Chimpanzees in the Tai Nation Park,"
>     American Journal of Physical Anthropology 78: 547-573 (1989); C.
>     Boesch, "Cooperative Hunting in Wild Chimpanzees," Animal Behavior 48:
>     653-667 (1994). At the very least, those who fail to contribute are
>     given the last pick of any meat available, and this is simply because
>     large game will spoil on the open plains (where refrigerators
>     traditionally have been somewhat scarce). Thus, the effective marginal
>     cost of giving food to shirkers in this situation is zero.
>     In contrast to this strictness of dealing with able-bodied shirkers,
>     weak and infirm individuals are often accorded special treatment and
>     protection from other members of the relevant society, even in
>     chimpanzee societies. Compassion and sympathy toward those who are
>     unable to help themselves appear to be as much a part of human nature
>     as the unwillingness to feel much sympathy for shirkers who
>     subsequently seek to share in the social product. This may account for
>     the universal tendency to distinguish "worthy" from "unworthy"
>     recipients of charity. [A somewhat similar analysis is provided in Amy
>     Wax, "Rethinking Welfare Rights: Reciprocity Norms, Reactive
>     Attitudes, and Political Economy of Welfare Reform," Law and
>     Contemporary Problems (Forthcoming Fall 2000)]. We seek to help those
>     who are unable to help themselves, but we are outraged when our
>     charity is exploited by those who could help themselves but choose not
>     to do so. The contextual nature of food-sharing is a theme that I will
>     return to below.
>     The problem of cooperation for a given end is identical to the problem
>     confronted by an economic firm. See A. Alchian and H. Demsetz,
>     "Production, Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American
>     Economic Review, 62: 777-795 (1972). Alchian and Demsetz argue that
>     the economic function of a firm is team production. Team production
>     can produce outcomes that are unavailable to uncoordinated individuals
>     working alone. They provide the example of moving a couch: no single
>     individual could do it, but four men can do it easily. Thus, there is
>     social surplus as a result of the team production. The problem is that
>     each individual will have an incentive to "shirk" by not working as
>     hard as the other members of the team. Each member of the team faces
>     the same incentives; thus, unless the shirking problem can be
>     contained, either the couch will not get moved, or it will take more
>     time than it would otherwise, thereby reducing the effective social
>     surplus. Alchian and Demsetz argue that, in response to these
>     incentives, some individual will be designated to be a residual
>     claimant whose primary responsibility will be to constrain shirking by
>     the team members. In return, the residual claimant will be rewarded
>     out of the general social surplus. The economic organization of the
>     firm faces virtually identical opportunities and problems as the wolf
>     pack seeking to bring down an elk.
>     Cooperation for a given end is an important component of cooperation
>     in nature, but it is limited in its utility to serve as a general
>     mechanism for social coordination. Cooperation for a given end
>     presupposes the existence of some uniform goal that all members of the
>     team seek to attain. Society and economy, however, are characterized
>     by a plurality of ends, not a single uniform end. See F. A. Hayek, The
>     Road To Serfdom (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1944); Adam
>     Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (Indianapolis: Liberty Classics,
>     1976). Thus, although cooperation for a given end is valuable in
>     allowing individuals to accomplish their individual goals, it does not
>     provide a general theory for organizing society. See Michael Polanyi,
>     The Logic of Liberty (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951);
>     Todd J. Zywicki, "Epstein and Polanyi on Simple Rules, Complex
>     Systems, and Decentralization," Constitutional Political Economy 9:
>     143-150 (1998). At the level of the social abstraction of an economy
>     and a society, the fundamental question is how to coordinate these
>     disparate goals peacefully and efficiently.
>     The appeal of organizing society so as to accomplish a given goal
>     explains the appeal to many social thinkers of a society and economy
>     at war. During such times, it is argued, individuals suppress their
>     plurality of individual goals in favor of attaining a goal that is
>     good for society generally, namely conquest of the common enemy. After
>     such wars end, however, there is a tendency for this uniformity of
>     vision to falter, and individuals return to their individual purposes.
>     As the foregoing has suggested, this duality is natural. Thus, while
>     the hunt is on, there are incentives for each individual to contribute
>     to the common goal of capturing prey. As soon as the prey is downed,
>     however, each individual quickly turns toward attempting to acquire
>     for himself as much as possible of the common surplus. Evolutionary
>     biology teaches us that selfishness is the norm, but that short-term
>     selfishness can sometimes be subsumed into a joint project. Sometimes
>     this joint project can be protection from a common enemy. See
>     Dugatkin, Cheating Monkeys. In the end, however, where cooperation is
>     for some common goal, each individual participates in furtherance of
>     his self-interest.
>     Robert Putnam's book Bowling Alone presents an interesting recent
>     example of the error of viewing all of society as having a common
>     purpose, and as all members of society working cooperating to
>     accomplish this end purpose. See Robert D. Putnam, Bowling Alone: The
>     Collapse and Revival of American Community (New York: Simon &
>     Schuster, 2000). Putnam glorifies the effect of World War II in
>     inculcating a heightened sense of civic responsibility in those who
>     fought the war, a commitment that continued after the war's
>     conclusion. Putnam relishes "the moral equivalent of war" without the
>     bloodshed and disruption of war. [7][4]  Thus, Putnam endorses the
>     role played by the post-war organs of civil society in building a
>     civic-mindedness aimed at solving collective problems. In stressing
>     these unifying purposes of civil society, Putnam ignores a second,
>     equally important strand of scholarship on civil society, namely the
>     role of civil society organizations in fulfilling a plurality of
>     individual ends. This strand of analysis, exemplified by scholars such
>     as Hannah Arendt and Ernest Gellner, stress the importance of civil
>     society as serving as a guardian of individual liberty and as a
>     counterweight to the tendency of the state to atomize individuals into
>     democratic rent-seekers and to infantilize individuals into passive
>     recipients of the state's largesse. See Hannah Arendt, The Origins of
>     Totalitarianism (New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1973); Ernest
>     Gellner, Conditions of Liberty: Civil Society and Its Rivals (London:
>     Hamish Hamilton, 1994). A full understanding of the vital role played
>     by civil community in a free society requires understanding that the
>     organs of civilization not only help to build social unity in the
>     sense offered by Putnam, but also to preserve a sphere of personal
>     autonomy and pursuit of a diversity of human ends in the sense
>     identified by Arendt and Gellner.
>     Cooperation for a given end is relatively common in nature. Where the
>     benefits to coordination for a given end are sufficiently large (such
>     as group hunting) and it is possible to constrain shirking and free
>     riding, the ability to cooperate to accomplish a given end is likely
>     to emerge spontaneously and to become hard-wired in an animal's
>     instinctive nature. Moreover, such coalition actions tend to arise
>     only where necessitated by the environment, and thus such coalitions
>     can be quite fluid and temporary. More stable coalitions tend to be
>     held together by the glue of reciprocal altruism, where gains are
>     provided over time, rather than the more direct and short-term gains
>     offered by cooperation for a given end.
>     Reciprocal Altruism
>     A third basis for cooperation in nature is "reciprocal altruism."
>     Although termed "altruism," like kin selection and cooperation for a
>     given end, reciprocal altruism is really rooted in self-interest. But
>     the mutual gains from reciprocal altruism are produced over time
>     rather than through a single interaction, as with cooperation for a
>     given end. In reciprocal altruism an individual provides a benefit for
>     another in exchange for a reciprocal benefit, or the expectation of a
>     reciprocal benefit in the future. Because the benefits are traded over
>     time, however, at the outset one of the individuals must provide a
>     benefit (thereby incurring a cost) in exchange for the mere
>     expectation of a reciprocal benefit. By being the first mover, the
>     party that first incurs a cost for another's benefit can be said to
>     act altruistically, even though the cost is incurred in expectation of
>     a long-term benefit. Assuming that the expectation is eventually
>     realized, this series of reciprocal exchanges over time is called
>     reciprocal altruism. Robert Trivers, generally credited with
>     identifying the model, defines reciprocal altruism as "the trading of
>     altruistic acts in which benefit is larger than cost so that over a
>     period of time both enjoy a net gain." See Robert Trivers, Social
>     Evolution (Menlo Park, CA: Benjamin Cummings, 1985); see also Robert
>     L. Trivers, "The Evolution of Reciprocal Altruism," Quarterly Review
>     of Biology 46: 35 (1971). Frans de Waal similarly observes,
>     "Cost-benefit analyses are the staple of evolutionary arguments. The
>     premise is always that there must be something in it for the
>     performer, if not immediately then at least in the long run, and if
>     not for him then at least for his relatives." [8][5] De Waal defines
>     three characteristics of reciprocal altruism:
>      1. The exchanged acts, while beneficial to the recipient, are costly
>         to the performer.
>      2. There is a time lag between giving and receiving.
>      3. Giving is contingent on receiving.
>     Because the benefits to the giver of reciprocal altruism are generated
>     indirectly (unlike the direct benefits of kin selection) and over a
>     long period of time (rather than in a relatively discrete transaction,
>     as with cooperation for a given end), a system of reciprocal altruism
>     requires a large number of supplementary psychological and social
>     institutions to develop. On a psychological level, reciprocal altruism
>     requires that those bound up in the reciprocal relationship have
>     sufficient cognitive ability to recognize and remember the degree of
>     their reciprocal relationships with others. On a social level,
>     reciprocal altruism requires sufficient stability of population that
>     the long-term benefits of social cooperation can accrue over time. As
>     de Waal poses the challenge, "Reciprocal altruism differs from other
>     patterns of cooperation in that it is fraught with risk, depends on
>     trust, and requires that individuals whose contributions fall short be
>     shunned or punished, lest the whole system collapse." [9][6] Because
>     of the huge number of supplementary psychological and social
>     institutions necessary to run a system of reciprocal altruism, this
>     form of cooperation is relatively rare in nature, being confined to
>     only the "brainiest" and most social of animals. Again the analysis
>     turns on the relative benefits and costs of this form of cooperation
>     relative to others.
>     The benefits of reciprocal altruism are potentially large. A system of
>     reciprocal altruism potentially creates huge social surplus to be
>     captured by the society. By allowing trade over a period of time,
>     reciprocal altruism opens up the possibility of a division of labor
>     and credit-based relationships. These innovations make possible the
>     recognition of the gains from specialization, comparative advantage,
>     and the insurance and risk-shifting elements of inter-temporal trade.
>     More fundamentally, absent the possibility of reciprocal altruism,
>     every interaction between strangers would be essentially a one-shot
>     prisoner's dilemma game, with mutual defection as the dominant
>     strategy. Of course, as the foregoing has indicated, a failure to
>     solve the problem of reciprocal exchange would not mean the end of all
>     cooperation -- kin-based cooperation and some degree of cooperation
>     for a given end would continue. So, for instance, a sex-based division
>     of labor (presumably driven by kin-based cooperation) is universal in
>     human societies and is not likely to be the result of mere norms
>     working alone. See Donald E. Brown, Human Universals (New York:
>     McGraw-Hill, 1991). Cooperation for purposes of accomplishing a given
>     goal might also be possible, but even this may break down if there is
>     some need to devise a system of cooperation outside of the joint
>     project (such as how to divide the surplus of the group activity,
>     i.e., how tigers will divide an impala carcass if there is not enough
>     for each to eat to satisfaction).
>     But reciprocity opens the possibility of social surplus on a scale
>     unimaginable for kin-based and by-product cooperation. See Robert
>     Wright, Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny (New York: Pantheon Books,
>     2000). Indeed, Matt Ridley has argued that what makes human beings
>     unique is the division of labor, which allows for maximum realization
>     of gains from trade and reciprocal relations. See Matt Ridley, The
>     Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation
>     (New York: Viking 1996). For instance, if six hunters establish an
>     arrangement to share food over time (allowing for temporarily unlucky
>     hunters and lucky hunters to share together), it is estimated that
>     they will reduce the variance in their food supply by eighty percent
>     relative to hunters who do not share their game. The ability to trade
>     different types of products (rather than just trading meat
>     inter-temporally) opens up the possibility of even greater exchange,
>     such as the possibility of trading axes for spears, or spears for
>     vegetables. One man may be good at fishing and another at hunting;
>     there are clear benefits to trading fish for meat in such
>     circumstances.
>     As noted, however, reciprocal altruism raises a classic prisoner's
>     dilemma. If you give me meat today, how do you know that I will give
>     you meat next week when I am the lucky one? Wouldn't I be better off
>     to take your meat today and stiff you when you come open-handed next
>     week? If so, then you will be unwilling to share with me today. The
>     classic prisoner's dilemma problem of mutual defection seems to
>     prevail.
>     Of course, it is now known that this analysis is too facile. Once the
>     possibility of repeated interactions in the prisoners' dilemma
>     scenario is introduced, then it is possible for cooperation to result
>     from these interactions. A stable cooperative outcome can result if
>     the gains from long-term interactions exceed the gains to one party
>     from a one-shot defection of acting opportunistically toward the
>     trading partner. Although a number of scholars hit upon this analysis
>     at approximately the same time in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the
>     most famous was probably Robert Axelrod, who popularized the notion
>     that the "repeat" or "iterated" prisoners' dilemma provides a
>     cooperative solution to the prisoners' dilemma game. Axelrod famously
>     ran a computer game where he determined that the optimal strategy to
>     play in such a game was one of "tit for tat," where the player
>     cooperates so long as his trading partner cooperates, then punishes
>     those who defect. See Robert Axelrod, The Evolution of Cooperation
>     (New York: Basic Books, 1984). It may be less well-known to readers of
>     this article that Axelrod wrote a subsequent article with biologist
>     William D. Hamilton (the "inventor" of kin-selection, as discussed
>     above) where they ran the same experiment to study evolutionary
>     systems. See Robert Axelrod and William D. Hamilton, "The Evolution of
>     Cooperation in Biological Systems," Science 211: 1390-1396 (1981);
>     reprinted in Axelrod, The Evolution of Cooperation, Chapter 5. Rather
>     than accumulating points, as in the first game, this time Axelrod and
>     Hamilton's players accumulated "offspring" who were "genetically
>     programmed" to play the same strategy as their "parents." Thus,
>     successful strategies would reproduce more rapidly than unsuccessful,
>     leading to more offspring over time. Playing the game in evolutionary
>     time, Axelrod and Hamilton discovered that tit for tat was again the
>     optimal strategy to play, leaving the most genetic offspring. This
>     suggests that there would an evolutionary benefit for those who
>     develop a natural tendency to engage in guarded cooperation of the tit
>     for tat strategy. Moreover, once established, tit for tat is an
>     "Evolutionary Stable Strategy," or "ESS," meaning that it cannot be
>     invaded by a small group of outsiders playing some other strategy.
>     Given the ease with which tit for tat can arise in a community, as
>     well as its "robustness" and adaptability in a wide variety of
>     evolutionary contexts, Axelrod and Hamilton suggest that it is likely
>     that human beings have evolved a natural predilection to engage in
>     guarded cooperation of the tit for tat variety. This hard-wired
>     predilection toward cooperation stands in sharp contrast to the
>     always-defect advice of the Hobbesian worldview that has dominated
>     liberalism for centuries. Subsequent investigators have questioned
>     Axelrod's conclusion that tit for tat is the optimal evolutionary
>     strategy, instead proposing refinements to tit for tat, such as
>     "Pavlov" and "Firm-but-fair." Although these variations question
>     whether tit for tat is a uniquely best strategy in the repeat
>     prisoners' dilemma situation, they are sufficiently similar to tit for
>     tat so as to reinforce the conclusion of the evolutionary value of
>     pursuing a strategy of guarded generosity.
>     The instinctive nature of reciprocal altruism is illustrated by
>     vampire bat societies. Vampire bats must eat every 48-60 hours or
>     perish. Vampire bats feed on the blood of cattle and horses. These
>     mammals are wary and large enough to brush off bats if they are
>     noticed. Thus, substantial skill is required for a bat to locate prey
>     and to successfully feed. In fact, on any given night, a large
>     percentage of bats (especially young bats) will be unsuccessful in
>     feeding, which would lead to a large number of deaths. To guard
>     against this eventuality, vampire bats have devised a network of
>     relationships where successful bats on any given night share excess
>     blood with unsuccessful bats. Although much of this is sharing between
>     kin, a substantial amount of sharing is between non-related bats.
>     Sharing among non-related bats appears to be driven by reciprocal
>     altruism, or more specifically, a tit for tat relationship. Any given
>     bat is more likely to share with a bat that has shared with him in the
>     past than a mere stranger. Stingy neighbors are later rebuffed. See
>     Gerald S. Wilkinson, "Reciprocal Food-Sharing in the Vampire Bat,"
>     Nature 308: 181-184 (March 8, 1984). Successful bats have an ability
>     to detect which bats are most in need of blood, and hence share with
>     them first. This maximizes the marginal benefit to the recipient bat
>     and minimal marginal cost to the donor. More importantly, it turns out
>     that vampire bats have an uncanny ability to recognize one another as
>     individual bats. This is essential for reciprocity to prevail, as it
>     enables bats to discriminate among one another in deciding to whom to
>     donate food. Thus, it is also not surprising that for their size,
>     vampire bats have unusually large neocortex regions of their brains.
>     The neocortex region of the brain is responsible for processing
>     information relating to social arrangements, such as the reciprocal
>     relationships described. Humans, of course, have tremendously large
>     neocortex regions relative to our body sizes, reflecting the
>     complexity of our interpersonal and social relationships. In fact, a
>     significant proportion of our brain's resources are devoted to the
>     task of recognizing individual faces. Ridley, Origins of Virtue, at
>     69. Vampire bats also have relatively long lifespans and a relatively
>     low degree of social out-migration. As will be discussed below, these
>     social conditions also help to sustain a system of reciprocal
>     altruism. As Matt Ridley sums up Wilkinson's research, "Wilkinson
>     found that [the bats] seem to play Tit-for-tat. A bat that has donated
>     blood in the past will receive blood from the previous donee; a bat
>     that has refused blood will be refused blood in turn. Each bat seems
>     to be quite good at keeping score.... Reciprocity rules the roost."
>     [10][7]
>     Given the immense benefits offered by reciprocal trade, why isn't it
>     ubiquitous in nature? In addition to vampire bats, reciprocal
>     relationships have been identified in species as diverse as vervet
>     monkeys, sea bass, fig trees and fig wasps, baboons, chimpanzees,
>     dolphins, and whales. As suggested above, the main reason is that it
>     is costly to run a system of reciprocity, both psychologically and
>     socially. In general, it is only the brainiest species that have
>     sufficient cognitive capacity to remember not only individual
>     identities, but to associate discrete patterns of sharing with each
>     individual. Moreover, the brain is an extremely expensive organ to run
>     in terms of caloric consumption. Thus, large brains will tend to
>     evolve only where sufficient environmental forces require them to do
>     so. In general, only highly social species such as chimpanzees,
>     dolphins, and whales have sufficiently complicated social structures
>     to require large brain capacities.
>     In addition to requiring sufficient cognitive power, reciprocal
>     altruism requires specific social conditions to prevail. Reciprocal
>     altruism requires that individuals will interact repeatedly and over
>     long periods of time. The benefits of long-term interaction are
>     sufficiently large to reward long-term cooperative behavior and also
>     make it possible to punish those who do not cooperate. In turn, this
>     requires a relatively small and stable social group characterized by
>     repeat interactions among the members of the group. The relationships
>     of the group must be largely egalitarian, thus making it feasible for
>     one individual to punish another. In a highly hierarchical society, it
>     may not be possible for a subordinate to punish someone who is
>     higher-ranked in the dominance hierarchy. Life spans must also be such
>     that the "shadow of the future" is sufficiently long for parties to
>     garner the mutual benefits of long-term reciprocal relations. Finally,
>     long-term parental care and extensive relationships with relatives
>     encourage the development of reciprocal altruism; the presence of
>     cooperation with kin relations provides a "core" group of cooperation
>     that can allow reciprocal cooperation to spread to unrelated
>     individuals. [11][8]
>     Few creatures will meet the three conditions necessary for reciprocal
>     altruism to flourish: (1) sufficient benefit from reciprocal altruism
>     in light of one's environment, (2) sufficient cognitive capacity to
>     process the information necessary to maintain a system of reciprocity,
>     and (3) the long-term, egalitarian, stable social relationships
>     sufficient to maintain reciprocal relationships. On the other hand,
>     humans appear to be uniquely well-suited to developing reciprocal
>     altruism. "During the Pleistocene, and probably before," Trivers
>     writes, "a homonid species would have met the preconditions for the
>     evolution of reciprocal altruism; for example, long lifespan, low
>     dispersal rate, life in small, mutually dependent and stable social
>     groups, and a long period of parental care leading to extensive
>     contacts with close relatives over many years." [12][9]  Moreover,
>     early human society was also highly egalitarian, making reciprocal
>     benefits and punishments available to all. As Matt Ridley states
>     Trivers's point, "Of all the species on the planet most likely to
>     satisfy the criteria of prisoners' dilemma tournaments -- the ability
>     to meet repeatedly, recognize each other and remember the outcomes of
>     past encounters... -- human beings are the most obvious. Indeed, it
>     might be what is special about us: we are uniquely good at reciprocal
>     altruism." [13][10]
>     This analysis suggests that like other animals, humans may have a
>     "reciprocity instinct," a hard-wired predilection for cooperation
>     combined with the development of psychological skills and social and
>     cultural norms designed to reinforce this reciprocity instinct. As
>     noted, reciprocal altruism is evident in some animals, and humans have
>     the requisite biological and social organizations that make humans
>     fertile for planting the seeds of reciprocal altruism. In addition, it
>     appears that the tendency toward reciprocity is universal, not
>     culture-specific. For instance, my research has uncovered no culture
>     or religion where it is morally neutral to file bankruptcy and default
>     on one's financial obligations. See Todd J. Zywicki, "The Reciprocity
>     Instinct: An Evolutionary Analysis of Norms, Promise-Keeping, and
>     Bankruptcy Law" (working paper, George Mason University School of Law,
>     October 28, 1999). Like the incest taboo, the universal nature of the
>     anti-bankruptcy promise-keeping norm suggests that the norm may in
>     fact be a hard-wired product of natural selection and the
>     psychological modules necessary to operate a society on the principle
>     of reciprocal altruism.
>     If humans do, in fact, have a reciprocity instinct, the consequences
>     of this insight are profound. In particular, it suggests that the
>     recent interest in "norms" theory in legal scholarship is incomplete.
>     See Eric A. Posner, Law and Social Norms (Cambridge: Harvard
>     University Press, 2000); Robert C. Ellickson, Order Without Law: How
>     Neighbors Settle Disputes (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press,
>     1991); Richard H. McAdams, "The Origin, Development, and Regulation of
>     Norms," Michigan Law Review 96: 338-433 (1997). To be sure, these
>     scholars are correct in identifying the strong tendency humans exhibit
>     to establish voluntary and spontaneous norms to resolve potential
>     disputes arising from day-to-day interactions. But their emphasis on
>     the social construction and transmission of norms is incomplete. The
>     foregoing discussion suggests that a theory of norms is flawed without
>     accounting for the hard-wired tendencies of human beings to generate
>     reciprocal relationships. Indeed, it is striking that most important
>     norms are largely universal, and only slightly context-dependent. This
>     includes such things as telling the truth and keeping one's promises,
>     as well as emotions such as love, friendship, compassion, vengeance,
>     and the like. See Donald E. Brown, Human Universals (New York:
>     McGraw-Hill, 1991). Absent compulsory control, human behavior is a
>     combination of a hard-wired reciprocity instinct combined with
>     cultural norms. It is striking, however, that vampire bats, sea bass,
>     and chimpanzees all exhibit promise-keeping and reciprocal
>     relationships without any social norms instructing them to do so. An
>     evolution-based model of reciprocity also avoids the problem of having
>     to develop complicated and fairly implausible models of
>     norms-internalization that fail to explain the presence of reciprocal
>     behavior in non-human species, in children, and in cross-cultural
>     interactions. For instance, Robert Frank has observed that most of the
>     signals used to determine one's reliability in a social context are
>     actually involuntary. See Passions Within Reason: The Strategic Role
>     of Emotions (New York: Norton, 1988). For instance, an attempt to lie
>     about the truth is generally met with an involuntary blush, stammering
>     speech, and shifty eyes. It is hard to see how these wholly
>     involuntary actions could be triggered a conscious learning about the
>     impropriety of not telling the truth. It is far more likely that we
>     have evolved in such a way as to trigger involuntary physical
>     manifestations of a hard-wired knowledge about the impropriety of
>     lying. Similarly, we seem to have instinctive "truth-detection" skills
>     designed to read individuals to determine whether they are telling the
>     truth. It further appears that the facial expressions that accompany
>     certain emotional states also are universal rather than
>     culture-specific. See Darwin and Facial Expression: A Century of
>     Research in Review (Paul Ekman ed.) (New York: Academic Press, 1973).
>     In fact, the current state of norms theory is remarkably similar to
>     the state of cultural anthropology a decade or two ago. Fascinated
>     with issues of relativism, cultural anthropologists focused on the
>     task of documenting largely trivial differences between different
>     societies. Introducing evolutionary psychology into the equation has
>     opened a much more important and fruitful examination of the
>     underlying similarities among most cultures throughout the world and
>     throughout history. See The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and
>     the Generation of Culture (Jerome H. Barkow, Leda Cosmides, and John
>     Tooby eds.) (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992). This essay is
>     in part an opening attempt to propose a similar approach to norms
>     theorists in the law to ground themselves in a stronger theory of
>     human nature and social evolution.
>     Group Selection
>     A final potential path to cooperation is offered by the possibility of
>     group selection. This is the most controversial of the approaches
>     offered here, and most evolutionary thinkers remain highly skeptical
>     of the importance, if not the very concept, of group selection.
>     Nonetheless, recent scholars have argued that the concept is in fact
>     viable, rendering it an empirical question as to whether it has
>     operated in practice. See Elliott Sober and David Sloan Wilson, Unto
>     Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior (Cambridge:
>     Harvard University Press, 1998). Despite the skepticism that has
>     generally surrounded group selection, it represents a potentially
>     powerful method for generating social cooperation on a scale exceeding
>     all of the foregoing. Reciprocal altruism is most compelling in
>     providing a theory of cooperation in small-group, face-to-face
>     settings; although it can be extended from these relations of specific
>     reciprocity to general reciprocity on a society-wide basis, this step
>     is tenuous. By contrast, group selection holds out the possibility of
>     encouraging cooperation on a large-scale society-wide basis directly.
>     Group selection arguments come in two forms, biological group
>     selection and cultural group selection. Although there are differences
>     between the two, the essential structure of the argument is similar.
>     Moreover, both cultural and biological group selection arguments have
>     traditionally been attacked on similar grounds. As a result, although
>     there are differences between the two, for purposes of this brief
>     essay I will treat them as largely interchangeable. The analysis
>     presented here summarizes the more detailed arguments presented in
>     Todd J. Zywicki, "Was Hayek Right About Group Selection After All?"
>     Review of Austrian Economics 13: 81-95 (2000).
>     On its face, the argument in favor of group selection is highly
>     persuasive. Indeed, it is quite common that authors will advance a
>     group selection argument without being fully conscious of having done
>     so. Advocates of biological group selection argue that under certain
>     environmental conditions it may be adaptive on the individual level to
>     develop altruistic traits toward others. Altruism builds trust and
>     reciprocity, thereby reducing the transaction costs of living together
>     in a given society. Greater trust spurs trade, specialization, and the
>     growth of wealth. In turn, this allows for the maintenance of a
>     larger, richer, and healthier population. Such populations will tend
>     to prosper and spread at the expense of less robust populations,
>     leading to the gradual displacement of non-altruistic populations with
>     more altruistic, and causing the altruistic trait to spread. See Sober
>     and Wilson, Unto Others. Cultural group selection arguments are
>     similar, except that rather than propagating one's genetic traits,
>     natural selection operates on "memes" of rules, customs, institutions,
>     and norms. Groups that adopt "better" cultural practices will again
>     tend to grow healthier, wealthier, and more populous, gradually
>     supplanting less efficient cultures through conquest, migration, or
>     conscious adoption. See F. A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of
>     Socialism, in The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek (W. W. Bartley, III,
>     ed.) (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988); F. A. Hayek, Law,
>     Legislation and Liberty, Vol. 1: Rules and Order (Chicago: University
>     of Chicago Press, 1973); F. A. Hayek, "The Origins and Effects of Our
>     Morals: A Problem for Science," in The Essence of Hayek (C. Nishiyama
>     and K. R. Keube, eds.) (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984);
>     Robert Boyd and Peter J. Richerson, Culture and the Evolutionary
>     Process (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985).
>     Both biological and cultural group selection arguments have been
>     attacked on similar grounds. Although the development of altruistic
>     traits or customs is adaptive on the group level, altruism is not
>     adaptive on the individual level. Because altruism creates social
>     surplus, it is argued, any single individual would do better by acting
>     selfishly rather than altruistically with others. Altruists,
>     therefore, would share with altruists and selfish members alike,
>     whereas selfish members would receive these benefits but would not
>     share with others. Selfish members can thereby free ride on altruists.
>     Over time, it is argued, this would lead to selfish members of society
>     prospering at the expense of altruists, giving selfish individuals a
>     comparative advantage in propagating their genes, and causing those
>     with selfish traits to gradually displace altruists in the population.
>     Thus it is argued that a theory of group selection lacks adequate
>     "micro" foundations in individual reproductive activity to be a
>     sustainable equilibrium theory. See Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene
>     (2d ed.) (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989); V. Vanberg,
>     "Spontaneous Market Order and Social Rules: A Critique of F. A.
>     Hayek's Theory of Cultural Evolution," Economics and Philosophy 2:
>     75-100 (1986). For more comment on Hayek's model of cultural group
>     selection, see D. G. Whitman, "Hayek contra Pangloss on Evolutionary
>     Systems," Constitutional Political Economy 9: 45-66; G. M. Hodgson,
>     "Hayek's Theory of Cultural Evolution: An Evaluation in Light of
>     Vanberg's Critique," Economics and Philosophy 7: 67-82 (1991).
>     But these criticisms of group selection models overstate their
>     conclusion in implying that group selection is invalid a priori. Like
>     individual natural selection, group selection should be understood as
>     an empirical question, not an a priori question. For group selection
>     to be viable requires the satisfaction of three criteria: (1) benefit
>     to the group from the biological trait or cultural rule; (2) some
>     mechanism for intergroup competition, so that "more fit" groups can
>     displace "less fit" groups; and (3) some mechanism for policing
>     intragroup free riding. See Zywicki, "Was Hayek Right About Group
>     Selection After All?" supra.
>     First, there must be some benefit to the group from the trait or
>     practice. Beneficial adaptations are those that reduce transaction
>     costs and conflict, and thereby allow for the growth of economic
>     wealth and population. Hayek points to property, contract, and the
>     rule of law as examples of cultural adaptations that would tend to
>     create social benefit and thus be favored by cultural group selection.
>     Second, there must be some mechanism for intergroup competition to
>     take place. This may be through war and conquest, migration and
>     intermarriage, or conscious adaptation of new practices or
>     institutions.
>     Third, there must be some mechanism for policing free riding behavior
>     within the group to prevent some individuals from claiming social
>     surplus without contributing to it themselves. This suggests that the
>     type of altruism that would be favored by group selection would be of
>     the "guarded cooperation" described by reciprocal altruism. Thus, it
>     is doubtful that cultural group selection would tend to favor the
>     evolution of psychological traits or cultural practices that permitted
>     unconditional sharing in the social surplus. Rather, group selection
>     would tend to favor altruistic and cooperative behavior, but it would
>     tend to limit this altruism so as to prevent exploitation by
>     unscrupulous free riders. As noted above, it is improper to draw
>     normative conclusions directly from the facts of evolutionary biology.
>     Nonetheless, this tendency toward guarded generosity suggests that
>     socialism and the welfare state rest on an unsound evolutionary
>     foundation. By allowing free riders unlimited opportunity to tap into
>     social surplus, these regimes empower free riders rather than
>     constrain them. See Zywicki, "Was Hayek Right about Group Selection
>     After All?" at 90-93; Paul H. Rubin, "Group Selection and the Limits
>     of Altruism," Journal of ioeconomics 2(1) (Forthcoming 2000); compare
>     Hodgson, "Hayek's Theory of Cultural Evolution," at 79-80 (arguing
>     that cultural group selection leads to a mixed economy). Evolutionary
>     arguments further suggest that individuals may have an innate and
>     culturally reinforced tendency to offer charity and altruism, thereby
>     making compulsory provision of social services unnecessary. Moreover,
>     evolution suggests that voluntarily-provided social services would
>     tend to be provided on a local level and embedded in a network of
>     social connectedness and reciprocal relationships. See David T. Beito,
>     From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State: Fraternal Societies and Social
>     Services, 1890-1967 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press,
>     2000). By embedding the charitable relationship in this social and
>     reciprocal context, it is likely that this system will be more
>     rewarding and empowering for both the donor and donee. By contrast, it
>     is hard to imagine how natural selection would favor individual
>     preferences that are satisfied through delivery of social services
>     through the inefficient and rent-seeking mechanism of the modern
>     welfare state.
>     Implications for Social Sciences and Law
>     Throughout this essay I have attempted to interweave specific examples
>     of types of natural cooperation with implications for social science
>     and the law. It is certainly tenuous to draw specific conclusions from
>     the general observations of evolutionary psychology. In addition to
>     those presented above, this concluding section will add a few thoughts
>     on potential avenues of further research in law and social science.
>     As suggested above, there has been a recent resurgence in legal
>     scholarship in the concept of norms, or what was formerly know as
>     custom, and the law. This analysis is refreshing, in that it has
>     caused scholars to increasingly look beyond formal legal rules and to
>     the norms and practices that underlie and support legal rules.
>     Individual actors tend spontaneously to develop norms and customs to
>     solve coordination problems as they arise. Properly understood, norms
>     theory reminds lawyers of an earlier era where the law was generally
>     used to buttress and enforce these spontaneously-developed extra-legal
>     norms and customs. See A. C. Pritchard and Todd J. Zywicki, "Finding
>     the Constitution: An Economic Analysis of Tradition's Role in
>     Constitutional Interpretation," North Carolina Law Review 77: 409-521
>     (1999); Robert D. Cooter, "Structural Adjudication and the New Law
>     Merchant: A Model of Decentralized Law," International Review of Law &
>     Economics 14: 215-239 (1994).
>     Although important, norms theory only goes halfway. The evolution of
>     norms and customs can only be properly understood within a framework
>     that also includes evolutionary psychology. As noted, there is a huge
>     degree of different types of cooperation in nature that prospers
>     without anything like norms or institutions to enforce them.
>     Evolutionary psychology helps to explain why pro-social and
>     pro-cooperative norms tend to be more prevalent in the world than
>     anti-social and anti-cooperative norms. There is a certain
>     universality to many of the norms that are found throughout the world
>     and even within a given society. Assuming that it is not purely
>     historical accident, this tendency toward universality in the types of
>     norms that develop can be explained in only two ways, either as the
>     result of universal human nature that drives the types of norms that
>     will be developed, or through a system of cultural group selection
>     that allows good practices to drive out bad. As noted, cultural group
>     selection remains controversial in both the natural and social
>     sciences, tending to suggest that evolutionary psychology presents a
>     more compelling explanation. Interestingly, however, the new norms
>     theorists seem to be either unaware of the existence of human
>     universals or largely unaware of the problem of explaining these
>     universals. Just as norms theorists have recognized that norms lie
>     behind law, evolutionary psychologists have long recognized that
>     evolution lies behind norms.
>     Law would also benefit from understanding how animals generate
>     solutions to certain social problems. For instance, like humans,
>     social animals are required to deal with the potential problem of
>     internal conflict over scarce resources. Animals, like humans, have
>     devised two basic ways of preventing conflict, property rights and
>     hierarchy. In hierarchical relations, disputes over resources or
>     breeding opportunities are decided by the highest-ranked, or "alpha,"
>     individual in the pack or group. Subordinate individuals must obey the
>     will of the alpha or be punished. Although this social arrangement
>     tends to minimize internal social conflict (except for conflict at the
>     top among rivals for dominance), it also means that the resources of
>     all other members of the society are subject to the will of the
>     dominant and are subject to having those resources expropriated at any
>     time.
>     More complex societies rely less on hierarchy and more on systems of
>     private property, or territories, to resolve disputes. Territories
>     demarcate specific resources over which particular animals have
>     control. By marking these territories, animals can avoid constant
>     conflict over ownership of resources. Thus, the primary initial
>     impulse for recognizing property rights is to minimize social
>     conflict. Moreover, once property rights are recognized, it is likely
>     that psychological tendencies to retain and protect property rights
>     evolve so as encourage the holder of the property to protect it.
>     Animals and small children exhibit instinctive evidence of property
>     rights and territoriality, suggesting that the desire to claim and
>     protect property is hard-wired. For a fascinating discussion of the
>     instinctive basis of property, see Richard Pipes, Property and Freedom
>     (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999). It seems that concepts of private
>     property, consensual transfer, and protection from involuntary
>     transfer are likely hard-wired in humans and other
>     cognitively-sophisticated and socially-complex creatures. This further
>     suggests that it is an error to see property rights allocations as
>     being merely conventional and subject to rearrangement at the will of
>     political actors. See Todd J. Zywicki, Book Review, Constitutional
>     Political Economy 8: 355-359 (1997) [reviewing Cass R. Sunstein, Legal
>     Reasoning and Political Conflict (1996)]. Allowing individuals to
>     plunder others' property rights and to acquire economic resources
>     through use of rent-seeking and political force, by contrast, can be
>     understood as a reversion to the political and economic structure of
>     hierarchy.
>     Evolutionary psychology also has potentially revolutionary
>     implications for political science. Since the publication of James Q.
>     Wilson's superb book The Moral Sense (New York: Free Press, 1993), a
>     handful of political scientists have attempted to understand the
>     implications of evolutionary psychology for the study of politics.
>     Straussian thinkers have been particularly attracted to understanding
>     the implications of evolutionary psychology for political behavior,
>     probably because of the robust view of human nature offered by
>     evolutionary psychology and the potential of constructing natural law
>     from human nature. Roger Masters was perhaps the most aggressive early
>     exponent of the importance of evolutionary psychology and human nature
>     for a proper understanding of politics and society. Beginning really
>     with The Nature of Politics (New Have: Yale University Press, 1989),
>     Masters published a series of articles and papers designed to spell
>     out his view of the implications of evolutionary psychology for
>     politics. In addition to The Nature of Politics, Masters also wrote
>     such interesting and provocative works as Beyond Relativism: Science
>     and Human Values (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England,
>     1993) and edited with Margaret Gruter the pathbreaking collection of
>     essays The Sense of Justice: Biological Foundations of Law (Roger D.
>     Masters and Margaret Gruter eds.) (Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage, 1992).
>     In recent years Larry Arnhart has carried forward the Darwinian
>     research program in political science. Building on an Aristotelian
>     foundation, Arnhart has explicitly advocated an evolutionary
>     understanding of human nature and politics. Arnhardt's exposition can
>     be found in his challenging book, Darwinian Natural Right: The
>     Biological Ethics of Human Nature (Albany, NY: State University of New
>     York Press, 1998). The general thrust of Darwinian-influenced
>     political thinking also is surveyed in Arnhardt's earlier article "The
>     New Darwinian Naturalism in Political Theory," American Political
>     Science Review 89: 389-400 (1995). Francis Fukuyama has similarly
>     argued for the relevance of evolutionary psychology for understanding
>     politics and social policy. See The Great Disruption: Human Nature and
>     the Reconstitution of Social Order (New York: Free Press, 1999).
>     A common strand in the Straussian view of evolutionary psychology and
>     politics is the emphasis on innate human inequality of abilities and
>     character as well as an Aristotelian belief in the inherently
>     "political" nature of man. Both of these arguments have important
>     implications for those interested in political science and political
>     theory. Contrasting with this emphasis on natural inequality is the
>     work of Christopher Boehm, who has stressed the concept of "reverse
>     dominance hierarchy" in human societies. Master and Arnhardt stress
>     the continuity of humans with lower animals and see humans as
>     exhibiting a tendency toward hierarchical social and political
>     relations. Boehm, by contrast, stresses the egalitarian tendency of
>     humans in contrast to hierarchy. Boehm is a democrat and sees human
>     political societies as characterized by fluid social and political
>     arrangements rather than rigid status hierarchies. Boehm's scholarly
>     output has been prodigious; most relevant for current purposes is his
>     most recent book, Hierarchy in the Forest: The Evolution of
>     Egalitarian Behavior (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999).
>     Boehm's insights have been largely untapped by political scientists,
>     but it seems that his emphasis on social and political egalitarianism
>     raises questions about the Straussian emphasis on inequality as the
>     basis for political society. Indeed, Boehm's insights may even be
>     relevant to an understanding of such mundane observations as the
>     public's tendencies to support anti-establishment "outsider" political
>     candidates such as John McCain and its attraction to populists and
>     political underdogs.
>     Finally, no discussion of the relevance of evolutionary psychology for
>     politics would be complete without mentioning Frans de Waal's
>     masterpiece Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex Among Apes (London:
>     Jonathan Cape, 1982). De Waal's extensive study of the social and
>     "political" relations among chimpanzees tells a Shakespearean tale of
>     political interactions and coalition-forming that strikingly
>     illustrates the political processes of primates further up the
>     evolutionary ladder.
>     The belief in the inherently "political" nature of humanity is also
>     open to debate. In making this argument, one must be careful to
>     distinguish humans' inherently political nature from humans'
>     inherently social nature. Although individuals are naturally social
>     and enthusiastic about egalitarian reciprocity-based interactions,
>     this type of interaction is distinct from political interactions.
>     There is little reason to believe that politics has anything to do
>     with a desire to seek "the good" or the "public good." Instead,
>     politics is primarily about the expropriation of wealth by politically
>     powerful coalitions or individuals. Thus, while individuals may be
>     naturally inclined to use political power to further their own ends,
>     it is doubtful that this sort of behavior should be encouraged.
>     Instead, it would seem to make more sense to try to tame this
>     expropriative behavior through constitutions and political
>     institutions designed to discourage the use of the political means of
>     acquiring wealth and instead channel wealth-acquisition into
>     positive-sum market exchange. See Mark Grady and Michael McGuire, "The
>     Nature of Constitutions," Journal of Bioeconomics 1(3): 227-240
>     (1999); Todd J. Zywicki, "The State of Nature and the Nature of the
>     State: A Comment on Grady and McGuire," Journal of Bioeconomics 1(3):
>     241-261 (1999).
>     The insights of evolutionary psychology also cast a powerful influence
>     over the study of economics. Economists generally taken personal
>     preferences as "given." Evolutionary psychology presents one avenue
>     for understanding individual preferences. Moreover, it suggests that
>     many such preferences, such as the desires for wealth and status, are
>     hard-wired predilections that are relatively unresponsive to changes
>     in relative prices. Of course, what qualifies as wealth or what
>     activities generate high social status may differ according to
>     different temporal and cultural forces. Nonetheless, the basic
>     impulses are relatively constant over time and independent of
>     particular social or economic contexts. This casts doubt on the belief
>     that preferences are primarily socially constructed and that they
>     therefore can be changed through the moral force of law or changes in
>     norms. Vernon Smith, Kevin McCabe, and other researchers at the
>     University of Arizona have been using the tools of experimental
>     economics to make predictions about individual preference functions
>     based on insights drawn from evolutionary psychology. All of their
>     work on this topic is fascinating and important. Good introductions to
>     their experimental approach and some of the conclusions they draw from
>     their research can be found in Vernon L. Smith, "Property Rights as a
>     Natural Order: Reciprocity, Evolutionary and Experimental
>     Considerations," in Who Owns the Environment? 55-80 (1998); Elizabeth
>     Hoffman, Kevin McCabe, and Vernon Smith, "Behavioral Foundations of
>     Reciprocity: Experimental Economics and Evolutionary Psychology,"
>     Economic Inquiry 36: 335-355 (1998); Kevin A. McCabe, et al.,
>     "Reciprocity, Trust, and Payoff Privacy in Extensive Form Bargaining,"
>     Games and Economic Behavior 24: 10-22 (1998).
>     In time, evolutionary psychology is likely to exert its greatest
>     influence in the field of economics. Evolutionary psychology
>     reinforces the economist's emphasis on methodological individualism
>     and self-interest as the foundations of analysis in the social
>     sciences. Thus, rather than merely assuming the primacy of
>     self-interest, economists can ground this postulate in human nature.
>     See Zywicki, "Nature of the State." In so doing, evolutionary
>     psychology also tends to justify the emphasis of the public choice
>     school on building political systems on the basis of self-interest
>     rather than public beneficence. Perhaps most interesting, evolutionary
>     psychology holds out the possibility of looking into the "black box"
>     of individual preferences to try to understand the structure of
>     consumer preferences, and in particular, why some preferences may be
>     more or less elastic and responsive to incentives and relative prices
>     than other preferences.
>     The two earliest expositors of examining economics through the lens of
>     biology were Jack Hirshleifer, see Jack Hirshleifer, "Evolutionary
>     Models in Economics and the Law: Cooperation versus Conflict
>     Strategies," Research in Law & Economics 4: 1-60 (1982); and Gordon
>     Tullock, see The Economics of Non-Human Societies (Tucson, AZ: Pallas
>     Press, 1994). In addition to Smith, McCabe, and the others at the
>     University of Arizona, many contemporary economists are working in the
>     evolutionary tradition, most notably Nobel Laureate Douglas North.
>     Others include Adam Gifford, see "Being and Time: On the Nature and
>     the Evolution of Institutions," Journal of Bioeconomics 1(2): 127-149
>     (1999); Hebert Gintis, Game Theory Evolving (Princeton, N.J.:
>     Princeton University Press, 2000); and Paul Rubin, who has written
>     several illuminating articles applying evolutionary psychology to
>     economics. This proliferation of research has coalesced into the study
>     of "bioeconomics" with its own society (the International Society for
>     Bioeconomics) and journal (the Journal of Bioeconomics). The Journal
>     of Bioeconomics is co-edited by Janet Landa, an economist, and Michael
>     T. Ghiselin, an evolutionary biologist.
>     Conclusion
>     This essay is not intended to be comprehensive. It has attempted to
>     state the case why those interested in law and social science should
>     be aware of developments in evolutionary psychology. It has also
>     provided a broad overview of the "four paths to cooperation" that have
>     been identified for understanding cooperation in nature. Finally, it
>     has offered some scattered thoughts on future research ideas for those
>     intereste
> References
>     1. http://www.theihs.org/libertyguide/people.php/50.html
>     2. http://www.theihs.org/libertyguide/hsr/index.php#13-1
>     3. http://www.chimp-st-and.ac.uk/cultures/database.htm
>     4. http://www.theihs.org/libertyguide/hsr/hsr.php?id=36&print=1#_ftn1
>     5. http://www.theihs.org/libertyguide/hsr/hsr.php?id=36&print=1#_ftn2
>     6. http://www.theihs.org/libertyguide/hsr/hsr.php?id=36&print=1#_ftn3
>     7. http://www.theihs.org/libertyguide/hsr/hsr.php?id=36&print=1#_ftn4
>     8. http://www.theihs.org/libertyguide/hsr/hsr.php?id=36&print=1#_ftn5
>     9. http://www.theihs.org/libertyguide/hsr/hsr.php?id=36&print=1#_ftn6
>    10. http://www.theihs.org/libertyguide/hsr/hsr.php?id=36&print=1#_ftn7
>    11. http://www.theihs.org/libertyguide/hsr/hsr.php?id=36&print=1#_ftn8
>    12. http://www.theihs.org/libertyguide/hsr/hsr.php?id=36&print=1#_ftn9
>    13. http://www.theihs.org/libertyguide/hsr/hsr.php?id=36&print=1#_ftn10
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