Beyond Self-Interest

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University of Chicago Press, Apr 15, 1990 - Philosophy - 402 pages
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A dramatic transformation has begun in the way scholars think about human nature. Political scientists, psychologists, economists, and evolutionary biologists are beginning to reject the view that human affairs are shaped almost exclusively by self-interest—a view that came to dominate social science in the last three decades.

In Beyond Self-Interest, leading social scientists argue for a view of individuals behavior and social organization that takes into account the powerful motivations of duty, love, and malevolence. Economists who go beyond "economic man," psychologists who go beyond stimulus-response, evolutionary biologists who go beyond the "selfish gene," and political scientists who go beyond the quest for power come together in this provocative and important manifesto.

The essays trace, from the ancient Greeks to the present, the use of self-interest to explain political life. They investigate the differences between self-interest and the motivations of duty and love, showing how these motivations affect behavior in "prisoners' dilemma" interactions. They generate evolutionary models that explain how altruistic motivations escape extinction.

They suggest ways to model within one individual the separate motivations of public spirit and self-interest, investigate public spirit and self-interest, investigate public spirit in citizen and legislative behavior, and demonstrate that the view of democracy in existing Constitutional interpretations is not based on self-interest. They advance both human evil and mothering as alternatives to self-interest, this last in a penetrating feminist critique of the "contract" model of human interaction.
 

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Contents

Preface
xi
Introduction
3
The Rise and Fall of SelfInterest in the Explanation of Political Life
5
Dimensions of the Problem
25
Rational Fools A Critique of the Behavioral Foundations of Economic Theory
27
Selfishness and Altruism
46
Varieties of Altruism
55
An Ecological Niche for Altruism
71
Congress and Public Spirit A Commentary
202
Constitutional Interpretation
209
Political SelfInterest in Constitutional Law
211
International Relations
227
Empathy and International Regimes
229
Modeling
239
Dual Utilities and Rational Choice
241
Expanding the Range of Formal Modeling
256

A Theory of Moral Sentiments
73
Cooperation for the Benefit of Us Not Me or My Conscience
99
Culture and Cooperation
113
On the Relation of Altruism and SelfInterest
135
Citizens
147
SelfInterest in Americans Political Opinions
149
Justice SelfInterest and the Legitimacy of Legal and Political Authority
173
Legislators
183
Deregulation and the Politics of Ideas in Congress
185
Alternatives to SelfInterest Malevolent and Benevolent
267
The Secret History of SelfInterest
269
Mothering versus Contract
289
Notes
307
Reference List
351
Contributors
384
Index
388
Copyright

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About the author (1990)

Jane J. Mansbridge is professor of public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. She is author of Why We Lost the ERA and Beyond Adversary Democracy, both published by the University of Chicago Press.

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