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A Cooperative Species by Herbert Gintis, Samuel Bowles

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4

The Sociobiology of Human Cooperation

Like successful Chicago gangsters, our genes have survived, in some cases for millions of years, in a highly competitive world. This entitles us to expect certain qualities in our genes. I shall argue that a predominant quality to be expected in a successful gene is ruthless selfishness. This gene for selfishness will usually give rise to selfishness in individual behavior.

Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (1976) p. 2

Selfish and contentious people will not cohere, and without coherence, nothing can be effected. A tribe possessing . . . a greater number of courageous, sympathetic and faithful members, who were always ready to warn each other of danger, to aid and defend each other . . . would spread and ...

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