TECT will explore new research perspectives on the evolution of cooperation and trading, through empirical, theoretical and modeling methods, on an array of organisms, ranging from microorganisms to human societies.
The TECT Programme is based on the working assumption of an evolutionary continuity of cooperation, both genetic and cultural, an assumption which was thought to be in need of a study in its own right. The TECT research agenda draws on recent advances in life, natural, human and social sciences. Across all these areas, a common theoretical framework for explaining biological and cultural evolution has emerged, which emphasises the properties of interactive, goal-directed agents. At the same time, methodological advances in several disciplines have provided new information about the properties of agents and their interactions. TECT comprises multinational and multidisciplinary research teams covering anthropology, artificial intelligence research, biology, chemistry, cognitive sciences, economics, history, linguistics, mathematics, neurosciences, philosophy of science, political sciences, psychology, and sociology.
TECT allows researchers to explore the potential for the exchange of models and theory as well as the transfer of empirical methods and results from one discipline to another. As trading and cooperation are not fully interchangeable concepts, TECT concentrates only on those areas in which the two phenomena overlap.