You are not currently logged in.
Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Selfishness as Second-Order Altruism
Omar Tonsi Eldakar and David Sloan Wilson
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 105, No. 19 (May 13, 2008), pp. 6982-6986
Published by: National Academy of Sciences
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25461911
Page Count: 5
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
Selfishness is seldom considered a group-beneficial strategy. In the typical evolutionary formulation, altruism benefits the group, selfishness undermines altruism, and the purpose of the model is to identify mechanisms, such as kinship or reciprocity, that enable altruism to evolve. Recent models have explored punishment as an important mechanism favoring the evolution of altruism, but punishment can be costly to the punisher, making it a form of second-order altruism. This model identifies a strategy called "selfish punisher" that involves behaving selfishly in first-order interactions and altruistically in second-order interactions by punishing other selfish individuals. Selfish punishers cause selfishness to be a self-limiting strategy, enabling altruists to coexist in a stable equilibrium. This polymorphism can be regarded as a division of labor, or mutualism, in which the benefits obtained by first-order selfishness help to "pay" for second-order altruism.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America © 2008 National Academy of Sciences