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Foolishness and identity: Amartya Sen and Adam Smith

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  • Caroline Gerschlager
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    Abstract

    Drawing on Amartya Sen the paper aims at a better understanding of the motivational foundation of the economic agent by analysing Adam Smith’s insights into the foolishness of human ambitions. It inquires whether there is another side to the pursuit of self-interest in Adam Smith and particularly accentuates his parable of the poor man’s son as a prototypical example. Complementing the standard views of the self and their recent extensions, the present analysis of the parable advances a description of economic identity based on selfreflexivity and conscious change of preferences.

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    File URL: https://dipot.ulb.ac.be/dspace/bitstream/2013/13590/1/dul-0073.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series DULBEA Working Papers with number 08-03.RS.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2008
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    Publication status: Published by: ULB, DULBEA
    Handle: RePEc:dul:wpaper:08-03rs

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    Keywords: hypertrophic self-love; self-deceit; illusion; change of preference; self-reflexivity.;

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    References

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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Olivier Debande & Jean Luc De Meulemeester, 2008. "Quality and variety competition in higher education," DULBEA Working Papers 08-12.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Charles Plaigin, 2009. "Exploratory study on the presence of cultural and institutional growth spillovers," DULBEA Working Papers 09-03.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. Bernal, Oscar & Oosterlinck, Kim & Szafarz, Ariane, 2010. "Observing bailout expectations during a total eclipse of the sun," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1193-1205, November.
    4. Sile Padraigin O'Dorchai, 2008. "Pay inequality in 25 European countries," DULBEA Working Papers 08-06rs, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Pierre-Guillaume Méon & Ariane Szafarz, 2008. "Labor market discrimination as an agency cost," DULBEA Working Papers 08-19.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Pecchenino, Rowena A., 2009. "Becoming: Identity and spirituality," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 31-36, January.
    7. Benoît Mahy & François Rycx & Mélanie Volral, 2008. "L'influence de la dispersion salariale sur la performance des grandes entreprises belges," DULBEA Working Papers 08-13.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    8. Abdeslam Marfouk, 2008. "The African brain drain: scope and determinants," DULBEA Working Papers 08-07.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    9. Hassan Ayoub & Jérôme Creel & Etienne Farvaque, 2008. "Détermination du niveau des prix et finances: le cas du Liban 1965-2005," DULBEA Working Papers 08-10.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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