Conflicts of interest: None.
Strange bedfellows: A Russian prince, A Scottish Economist, and the role of empathy in early theories for the evolution of cooperation
Article first published online: 11 JUL 2013
© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution
Volume 320, Issue 7, pages 407–411, November 2013
How to Cite
2013. Strange bedfellows: A Russian prince, a Scottish economist, and the role of empathy in early theories for the evolution of cooperation. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 320B:407–411..
- Issue published online: 7 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 11 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 14 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Received: 18 MAR 2013
- The University of Louisville
From 1888 to his death in 1921, Russian Prince Peter Kropotkin forced biologists to ask themselves whether natural selection inevitably led to a dog-eat-dog world, or whether pro-social behavior could also be a product of the evolutionary process. In this historical vignette, I focus on Kropotkin's theory of “mutual aid,” with emphasis on the role that empathy played in that theory, and the unexpected source—economist Adam Smith's 1759 book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments—of Kropotkin's ideas on empathy in animals. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 320B: 407–411, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.