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Altruism and Altruistic LoveScience, Philosophy, and Religion in Dialogue$
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Stephen G. Post, Lynn G. Underwood, Jeffrey P. Schloss, and William B. Hurlbut

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780195143584

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143584.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.182) 11 The Fall and Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall and Rise of Altruism in Evolutionary Biology
Source:
Altruism and Altruistic Love
Author(s):

David Sloan Wilson

Elliott Sober

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195143584.003.0017

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

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

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