gap gap

Edited by Kim Sterelny, Richard Joyce, Brett Calcott, & Ben Fraser

MIT Press, 2013 (Cambridge, MA)

This volume is an interdisciplinary collection of 26 previously unpublished papers on the topic of the evolution of cooperation.

dust jacket blurb:  

This collection reports on the latest research on an increasingly pivotal issue for evolutionary biology: cooperation. The chapters are written from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and utilize research tools that range from empirical survey to conceptual modeling, reflecting the rich diversity of work in the field. They explore a wide taxonomic range, concentrating on bacteria, social insects, and, especially, humans.

Part I ("Agents and Environments") investigates the connections of social cooperation in social organizations to the conditions that make cooperation profitable and stable, focusing on the interactions of agent, population, and environment. Part II ("Agents and Mechanisms") focuses on how proximate mechanisms emerge and operate in the evolutionary process and how they shape evolutionary trajectories. Throughout the book, certain themes emerge that demonstrate the ubiquity of questions regarding cooperation in evolutionary biology: the generation and division of the profits of cooperation; transitions in individuality; levels of selection, from gene to organism; and the "human cooperation explosion" that makes our own social behavior particularly puzzling from an evolutionary perspective.


Introduction: “The ubiquity, complexity, and diversity of cooperation”
Kim Sterelny, Richard Joyce, Brett Calcott, & Ben Fraser

PART 1: Agents and Environments

1. “The evolution of individualistic norms"
Don Ross

2. “Timescales, symmetry, and uncertainty reduction in the origins of hierarchy in biological systems” Jessica C. Flack, Doug Erwin, Tanya Elliot, & David C. Krakauer

3. “On depending on fish for a living, and other difficulties of living sustainably”
Hanna Kokko & Katja Heubel

4. “Life in interesting times: Cooperation and collective action in the Holocene”
Kim Sterelny

5. The birth of hierarchy”
Paul Seabright

6. “Territoriality and loss aversion: The evolutionary roots of property rights”
Herbert Gintis

7. “Cooperation and biological markets: The power of partner choice”
Ronald Noë & Bernhard Voelkl

8. “False advertising in biological markets: Partner choice and the problem of reliability”
Ben Fraser

9. “MHC-mediated benefits of trade: A biomolecular approach to cooperation in the marketplace”
Haim Ofek

10. “What we don’t know about the evolution of cooperation in animals”
Deborah M. Gordon

11. “Task partitioning: Is it a useful concept?”
Adam Hart

12. “Cooperative breeding in birds: Toward a richer conceptual framework”
Andrew Cockburn

PART 2: Agents and Mechanisms

13. “Why the proximate-ultimate distinction is misleading, and why it matters for understanding the evolution of cooperation”
Brett Calcott

14. “Emergence of a signaling network with probe and adjust
Brian Skyrms & Simon M. Huttegger

15. “Bacterial social life: Information processing characteristics and cooperation coevolve”
Livio Riboli-Sasco, François Taddei, & Sam Brown

16. “Two modes of transgenerational information transmission”
Nicholas Shea

17. “What can imitation do for cooperation?”
Cecilia Heyes

18. “The role of learning in punishment, prosociality, and human uniqueness”
Fiery Cushman

19. “Our pigheaded core: How we became smarter to be influenced by other people”
Hugo Mercier

20. “Altruistic behaviors from a developmental and comparative perspective”
Felix Warneken

21. “Culture-gene coevolution, large-scale cooperation, and the shaping of human social psychology” Maciek Chudek, Wanying Zhao, & Joseph Henrich

22. “Suicide bombers, weddings, and prison tattoos: An evolutionary perspective on subjective commitment and objective commitment”
Daniel M. T. Fessler & Katinka Quintelier

23. “Communicative functions of shame and guilt”
June P. Tangney, Jeffrey Stuewig, Elizabeth T. Malouf, & Kerstin Youman

24. “Moral disgust and the tribal instincts hypothesis”
Daniel R. Kelly

25. “Evolution, motivation, and moral beliefs”
Matteo Mameli

26. “The many moral nativisms”
Richard Joyce [pdf available here]


"The most striking feature of Cooperation and its Evolution is the sheer diversity of perspectives, of questions, and of conceivable replies it contains...The book is successful in providing an accurate map of the new questions raised above and beyond traditional problems and approaches.”
-- Cédric Paternotte, Acta Bioetheoretica (2014)

“Sterelny, et al., present a fascinating collection of essays on cooperation and its evolution the definitely makes an important contribution to the literature. Anybody interested in cooperation and its evolution ought to read it.”
-- Armin Schulz, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (2014)

“This rich, diverse collection is essential reading for anyone working on cooperation.”
-- Robert William Fischer, Metapsychology (2013)

"Cooperation and Its Evolution lights a beacon for future research on cooperation."
-- Stanley Shostak, The European Legacy (2016)

"Cooperation and Its Evolution is essential reading for anyone who seeks a better understanding of the puzzles we face in explaining human social evolution and a sharper picture of the space of possible solutions."
-- Jonathan Birch, Biology and Philosophy (2014)

"Cooperation and its Evolution ought to be on  the reading lists of a great many philosophers. It is a rich and varied collection of essays by biologists and philosophers working at the cutting edges of evolutionary science and the crossroads between that science and philosophy."
-- Ryan Felder, Essays in Philosophy (2015)



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