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Alterity, the Trick that Builds Up a Human Society: The Day that Tomasello Met Economics—A Concept Paper

Smărăndița Tapalagă Gheorghincă and Elena Druica
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Smărăndița Tapalagă Gheorghincă: Heidelberg University, Germany

International Journal of Applied Behavioral Economics (IJABE), 2012, vol. 1, issue 1, 1-11

Abstract: This article relates two highly important views on the social characteristics of Humans: Michael Tomasello’s theory regarding the evolutionary difference between nonhuman and human primates and the Human portrait, as seen by Economics. Never before considered together, these two ideas agree and sustain each other. Tomasello´s common psychological infrastructure of shared intention and attention finds reason into the normativity circumscribing economic behavior, where fairness, morality and justice prevail. Correlatively, integrating alterity into one´s utility calculations, observed by Economics, reminds of Tomasello´s self-other equivalence and prosocial motivation as key features of building a human society. Finally, altruism, encompassed effortlessly into Human Behavior, is the fundament of social exchange and evolution.

Date: 2012
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