Inclusive fitness maximization: An axiomatic approach

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Samir Okasha, John A. Weymark and Walter Bossert
Journal of Theoretical Biology
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Kin selection theorists argue that evolution in social contexts will lead organisms to behave as if maximizing their inclusive, as opposed to personal, fitness. The inclusive fitness concept allows biologists to treat organisms as akin to rational agents seeking to maximize a utility function. Here we develop this idea and place it on a firm footing by employing a standard decision-theoretic methodology. We show how the principle of inclusive fitness maximization and a related principle of quasi-inclusive fitness maximization can be derived from axioms on an individual׳s ‘as if preferences’ (binary choices) for the case in which phenotypic effects are additive. Our results help integrate evolutionary theory and rational choice theory, help draw out the behavioural implications of inclusive fitness maximization, and point to a possible way in which evolution could lead organisms to implement it.
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