In the Philosophical Lexicon, we find the entry for outsmarting, in tribute to one of the favorite rhetorical / conceptual moves of JJC Smart in defending his act utilitarianism: to accept, affirm, and even exaggerate the attempts at a reductio sent one's way. "Of course I would torture an innocent child in order to save the universe. Wouldn't you? What kind of moral monster wouldn't do that?"
We see an example of the outsmarting maneuver in Christopher Boehm's Moral Origins, this time directed at Nietzsche: "Of course the herd of weaklings ganged up and killed the solitary strong ones! You say that like it's a bad thing, when in fact, it's the secret of human evolution!"
- kin selection (or better, a mistake-prone mechanism for kin-identification, such that whomever you are familiar with becomes a potential recipient of aid, since a false negative in kin identification is much worse than a false positive)
- reciprocal altruism
- indirect or reputation-based altruism
- learned altruistic principles (the idea here is that if humans become social sponges, soaking up principles of action rather than going through potentially disastrous trial-and-error learning each generation -- "hey, what's this slithery thing snaking its way towards me? Let me see what happens if I pick it up" -- then a Golden Rule principle producing altruism would be able to take hold, since the benefits of sponginess would outweigh the altruism costs thus produced)
- group selection
would work if "social selection" (i.e., exiling or killing off of would-be cheaters and dominators) had been present in sufficient quantities.
If so, then the puzzle about the evolution of altruism seen in many mathematical models would be solved as social selection would have been be able to tip the scales toward the accumulation of altruistic genes.
In another instance of outsmarting Nietzsche, Boehm holds that social selection would also have helped in the development of a "conscience" as the ability to restrain would-be cheating or dominating behavior out of fear of punishment.**
On a methodological level, Boehm's work is of interest for demanding that the anthropological study of the social selection practices of egalitarian forager bands be taken into account when analyzing the mathematical models that propose that the evolution of altruism is puzzling.
*There's a lot to talk about here, of course. When I write my book about human nature, I'll be tackling the gene-for-a-trait notion, looking to see what we can say about it in light of recent work on epigenetics and development, reviewed here by MJ Meaney. From this perspective, social selection doesn't so much eliminate enough free-riding genes as it does eliminate child-development practices that would set in place gene-expression networks producing free-riding behavior. But this line of thought is just about at the limit of my present ability to articulate the issues at stake, so I'm going to stop here.
**Of course, Nietzsche is not complaining about social selection or about the development of conscience; he's not resentful that this has occurred; he's not saying what he does as a moral argument about what should have happened -- "see what you lot have done? wouldn't it have been better if the herd had stayed in its place way back when?" So Boehm is not really "outsmarting" Nietzsche, since Nietzsche himself would certainly expect the descendants of herd maneuvers to think this way -- "of course lambs don't like lions! Why should they?"