Objective: The article examines the causes and mechanisms of the origin of human social behavior. Methods: The theories of multilevel selection and inclusive fitness are analyzed and the former theory is concluded to have significant explanatory power. It describes the mechanism of mutual altruism and reflects the process of rapid (on the evolutionary scale) emergence of social behavior in communities that have crossed clan limits. Results: Multilevel selection theory demonstrates that egoistic activity gives individual advantage within the group, but destroys the social organism as a whole. Group selection works in the opposite direction. As a result of competition between groups, the one with the higher level of mutual assistance and altruism has evolutionary success. This exact effect made its appearance in the course of divergence between Neanderthals and ancient humans. The divergence exacerbated the clash between the two levels of natural selection. The individual level was reinforcing egoism and contributing to the success of an individual. Yet the confrontation with the Neanderthals intensified the mechanism of group selection, laying down a permanent internal conflict between the differently oriented aspirations for the personal and public good in human nature. Conclusion: For the group to survive, its members need to become altruistic and even sacrifice themselves. Through this sacrifice, the primordial stimuli were overridden and communication within the community was strengthened. The divergence resulted in the emergence and consolidation of fundamental imperatives of social behavior, primarily the principle of mutual altruism, in the life of society.


social behavior; inclusive fitness; multilevel selection; divergence; altruism

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21902/Revrima.v2i34.5694


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