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The origin of altruism: Philosophical, theoretical, and empirical perspectives

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Antonio M. M. Rodrigues.

The origin of altruism has fascinated scholars for centuries. From theologians, and philosophers to economists, and biologists, altruism has stimulated much debate. Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection provides a biological explanation for the metabolic, physiological, and behavioural traits of organisms, and focuses on the individual as the fundamental unit of natural selection. Following in Darwin’s footsteps, Hamilton grounded his genetical theory of the evolution of altruism on the individual. This idea, however, is not consensual, with researchers disagreeing about the units of selection, as well as the purpose of adaptation. In the light of this, we will debate the current state of explanations for the evolution of altruism.

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Science Society talks series.

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