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A history of the altruism–morality debate in biology

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Chapter Summary

Many different histories of the altruism–morality debate in biology are possible. Here, I offer one such history, based on the juxtaposition of four pairs of historical figures who have played a central role in the debate. Arranged in chronological order, the four dyads — Huxley and Kropotkin, Fisher and Emerson, Wynne-Edwards and Williams, and Hamilton and Price — help us grasp the core issues that have framed and defined the debate ever since Darwin: the natural origins of morality, the individual versus collective approach, the levels of selection debate, and the Is–Ought distinction. Looking forward, the continued relevance of the core issues is discussed.

10.1163/9789004263888_004
/content/books/b9789004263888_004
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