Download e-book for iPad: A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution, and Cooperation by Peter Singer

By Peter Singer

ISBN-10: 0300083238

ISBN-13: 9780300083231

In A Darwinian Left, Peter Singer argues that the political left has misunderstood Darwinian principles and accordingly been opposed to the applying of Darwinian considering to politics. these at the political left who search a extra egalitarian society should still as an alternative include evolutionary principles and easy methods to use evolutionary considering so as to construct the type of cooperative society sought.

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Extra resources for A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution, and Cooperation

Sample text

Under such conditions the cooperative strategy is not justified in terms of self-interest. Paradoxically, only altruism can help the prisoners. They will each be better off if each of them takes into account, not only how long he will spend in prison, but how long the other prisoner will be there. Then they can each see that to minimise the total amount of time spent in prison by the two of them, neither should confess. Although a once-in-a-lifetime prisoner's dilemma is insoluble, the situation changes when the same parties find themselves faced with repeated prisoner's dilemmatype choices.

In most of them, it is possible to change the pay-offs, or coordinate the behaviour of those involved, to bring about a better outcome. Traffic planners can put in bus lanes; arms negotiators can have inspection teams. The prisoner's dilemma is a pure example of the problem, because the pay-offs cannot be changed, the prisoners cannot coordinate their behaviour, and it is a once-in-a-lifetime situation. Under such conditions the cooperative strategy is not justified in terms of self-interest. Paradoxically, only altruism can help the prisoners.

In most of them, it is possible to change the pay-offs, or coordinate the behaviour of those involved, to bring about a better outcome. Traffic planners can put in bus lanes; arms negotiators can have inspection teams. The prisoner's dilemma is a pure example of the problem, because the pay-offs cannot be changed, the prisoners cannot coordinate their behaviour, and it is a once-in-a-lifetime situation. Under such conditions the cooperative strategy is not justified in terms of self-interest. Paradoxically, only altruism can help the prisoners.

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A Darwinian Left: Politics, Evolution, and Cooperation by Peter Singer


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