Making use of the past: theorists and historians on the economics of altruism
While deriving their explanation of positive utility interdependence from Edgeworth's presupposition that concern for others' welfare varies with the 'social distance' between individuals, economic theorists have overlooked both Smith's idea that sympathy can also develop on the basis of empathy and Wicksteed's idea that sympathy and altruism operate on different levels of analysis. In retrieving past ideas that have not been followed up in the modern theories of altruism, historians of economics should be able not only to shed some light on the main stages in its development but also to show that its achievements cannot be assessed independently of its limits.
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Volume (Year): 7 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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