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Recently has been shown that, given certain conditions, altruism can prevail in a population even without the help of mechanisms as kin selection, reciprocal altruism and group selection. At the light of this hypothesis, it is shown how altruism and cooperative aptitudes can favor the concentration of a population and how an incomplete evolution of altruism, caused by group selection, into the Benthamian form, determining the emergence of sentiments and behaviors, such as a sense of justice, as well as envy and gossip, can lead to the formation of a regulated society. From this standpoint, altruism leads to group selection, and not the contrary.


Altruism, Selfishness, Group Selection, Economic Development

Cite this paper

Paolilli, A. 2011. Altruism, Selfishness and Social Cohesion. Sociology Mind, 1, 145-150. doi: 10.4236-sm.2011.14018.

Author: Antonio Luigi Paolilli



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