In this final chapter, we engage with two questions, one from biology and one from philosophy:
In biology, the “problem of altruism” is the apparent conflict between natural selection, which suggests that animals live in a state of constant competition, and altruism, which is the tendency of many animals to help other animals, even to their own detriment.
In moral philosophy, the question of human nature asks whether humans are fundamentally good, or evil, or blank states shaped by their environment.
The tools we will use to address these questions are agent-based simulation (again) and game theory, which is a set of abstract models meant to describe ways agents interact. Specifically, the game we will consider is the Prisoner’s Dilemma.