The problem of altruism refers to the apparent difficulty in reconciling the existence of altruists, individuals who reduce their own fitness to increase the fitness of others, with natural selection. A historical and philosophical overview of solutions to this apparent contradiction is presented through a close reading of the key texts of Charles Darwin, Warder C. Allee and Edward O. Wilson. Following an analysis of Darwin's explanation for altruism, I examine the ideas of group selection and kin selection advanced by Allee and Wilson, respectively, Attention is also given to the philosophical implications each associated with their respective solutions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- History and Philosophy of Science