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The Origins of Unfairness: Social Categories and Cultural Evolution

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2019.12.04 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Cailin O'Connor, The Origins of Unfairness: Social Categories and Cultural Evolution, Oxford University Press, 2019, 240pp., $25.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780198789970. Reviewed by Ann E. Cudd, University of Pittsburgh Why is unfairness ubiquitous in human interaction, and especially prominent along the lines of gender, race, and in some societies, caste? In this book, Cailin O'Connor offers explanatory models based in evolutionary game theory to answer this question. She shows that if we model many common interactions as coordination problems, we can see why cultural evolution makes gender and racial distinctions useful ways to choose strategies and divide the outcomes of interactions in ways that favor one group over another. These models are simple yet powerful. They show us how unfair conventions and norms that penalize women and racial or ethnic minorities could have arisen making only minimal assumptions about human psychology or physiology, and why unfairness in human interaction is so hard... Read More

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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