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Foolishness and identity: Amartya Sen and Adam Smith

  • Caroline Gerschlager
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    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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    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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