Born selfish? Rationality, altruism, and the initial state
Henrich et al. propose that humans are genetically equipped with learning mechanisms that enable them to acquire the preferences and beliefs related to economic prosocial behaviors. In addition to their cross-cultural data, they cite developmental evidence in support of this theory. We challenge Henrich et al.'s interpretation of the developmental data in a discussion of recent work which suggests that preferences for altruism and fairness may have an innate basis.