Adam Smith and Three Theories of Altruism
AbstractSmith advanced a particular view of altruism that should prove to be relevant to the modem literature on the subject. It provided the back-bone of his critique of three different theories. These three theories have been reincarnated in three modem approaches : Robert Axelrod's "egoistic", Gary Becker's "egocentric", and George Herbert Mead and Robert Frank's "altercentric" views. Axelrod's approach repeats the failing, which Smith found in Mandeville's. Becker's theory echoes the shorteoming, which Smith identified in Hobbes'. Mead/Prank's view duplicates the fault, which Smith uncovered in the approach of Francis Hutcheson and other figures of the Scottish Enlightenment.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) with number 2001044.
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2001
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Egoistic theory; egocentric theory; altercentric theory;
Other versions of this item:
- B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology
- D0 - Microeconomics - - General
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