Moral Sentiments and Material Interests: The Foundations of Cooperation in Economic Life

Moral Sentiments and Material Interests: The Foundations of Cooperation in Economic Life

by Herbert Gintis
     
 
Multidisciplinary research into cooperation and the implications for public policy, drawing on insights from economics, anthropology, biology, social psychology, and sociology.

Overview

Multidisciplinary research into cooperation and the implications for public policy, drawing on insights from economics, anthropology, biology, social psychology, and sociology.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262072526
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
07/01/2005
Series:
Economic Learning and Social Evolution Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
416
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

What People are saying about this

Cass R. Sunstein

"This outstanding book provides an extraordinary set of insights into the nature and effects of cooperation. Not only does it demolish the view, widespread in the social sciences, that people are selfish; it goes beyond demolition to delineate the uses and limits of cooperation in human behavior. One of its many virtues is that it extends the theoretical debate directly into the realm of law and policy,
showing how an understanding of cooperation bears on employment practices, street crime, environmental protection, welfare policy, and even the behavior of taxpayers."

David Sloan Wilson

"This is the wave of the future in social science research: the dissolution of disciplinary boundaries, a unified conceptual framework, and rapid feedback between theoretical and empirical inquiry."

Daniel Kahneman

"This book presents social science at its interdisciplinary best: an exhilarating mix of game theory, evolutionary biology, experimental economics,
cultural anthropology, primatology, and policy analysis. It will change our views of how biology and culture together determine social behavior."

Kenneth J. Arrow

This work synthesizes the elements of the burgeoning, transdiciplinary field of study on the evidence of cooperation in human behavior, economic and otherwise. The hypothesis of strong reciprocity -- of willingness to both punish departures from norms, even at a cost, and to contribute, even in the absence of direct gain -- is tested in the field and in experimental studies. The papers in this book, and the studies on which they are based, represent an important new direction for social research, one with important policy consequences.

Frans de Waal

Where once human economy was viewed abstractly, as a mere reflection of market forces, there is increasing interest in how it derives from natural human tendencies. We do not come into this world as rational profit-maximizers, but as bonded, group-living primates. This volume sets the stage for new economic thinking that takes this thoroughly social heritage into account. With its attention to moral implications, it is the perfect book for the post-Enron era.

From the Publisher
"Amos Tversky's research on preferences and beliefs has had a shattering and yet highly constructive influence on the development of economics. The vague complaints of psychologists and dissident economists about the excessive rationality assumptions of standard economics, going back over a century, had little impact. It required the careful accumulation of evidence, the clear sense that Tversky did not misunderstand what economists were assuming, and above all his formulation of useful alternative hypotheses to change dissatisfaction into a revolutionary change in perspective."—Kenneth J. Arrow, Professor of Economics Emeritus, Stanford University, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences (1972)

"This work synthesizes the elements of the burgeoning, transdiciplinary field of study on the evidence of cooperation in human behavior, economic and otherwise. The hypothesis of strong reciprocity — of willingness to both punish departures from norms, even at a cost, and to contribute, even in the absence of direct gain — is tested in the field and in experimental studies. The papers in this book, and the studies on which they are based, represent an important new direction for social research, one with important policy consequences."—Kenneth J.

Arrow, Professor of Economics Emeritus, Stanford University, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences (1972)

"Where once human economy was viewed abstractly, as a mere reflection of market forces, there is increasing interest in how it derives from natural human tendencies. We do not come into this world as rational profit-maximizers, but as bonded, group-living primates. This volume sets the stage for new economic thinking that takes this thoroughly social heritage into account. With its attention to moral implications, it is the perfect book for the post-Enron era."—Frans de Waal, author of *Our Inner Ape*

Meet the Author

Robert Boyd is Professor of Anthropology at University of California at
Los Angeles.

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