Adam Smith and Three Theories of Altruism
Smith 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.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)
Volume (Year): 67 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
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- Sen, Amartya, 1985. "Goals, Commitment, and Identity," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 341-55, Fall.
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- Khalil, Elias L., 1999. "Sentimental fools: a critique of Amartya Sen's notion of commitment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 373-386, December.
- Becker, Gary S, 1976. "Altruism, Egoism, and Genetic Fitness: Economics and Sociobiology," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 817-26, September.
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