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Moral externalization is an implausible mechanism for cooperation, let alone “hypercooperation”

  • Tim Johnson (a1)

To facilitate cooperation, moral externalization requires truthful and meticulous information about others’ moral commitments (Stanford target article, sect. 6). By definition, this information does not exist in the low-information environments where humans display their “hypercooperativeness.” Furthermore, collecting that information – if possible – entails costs that other mechanisms for correlated interaction avoid. Hence, moral externalization is an unlikely mechanism for cooperation, let alone “hypercooperation.”

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
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