An Introduction and Guide to the Volume View Full Text


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Chapter Info

DATE

2017-09-15

AUTHORS

David P. Tracer , Meng Li

ABSTRACT

The notion that humans have a taste for fairness, equity, and justice is both profoundly empirically satisfying, and troublesome, theoretically. It is comforting to know that “from cooperative hunting to contributing to charitable causes to helping stranded motorists, humans in all societies, industrialized and small-scale alike, frequently engage in acts that benefit other unrelated individuals, often at a non-trivial cost to themselves” (Tracer, this volume); in other words, that humans are intensely prosocial creatures. But this same fact is at once problematic for theories of human motivation and behavior. Most theories of human behavior in the social sciences rely upon the premise that we are fundamentally self-regarding maximizers of personal gain. This is alternatively known as the “selfishness axiom” or the Homo economicus model of human behavior (Henrich et al., 2004). Are humans prosocial creatures or selfish maximizers? In this volume, we examine the concepts of fairness, equity, and justice from an interdisciplinary perspective. Before we proceed to the various perspectives from disciplines as diverse as neuroscience, psychology, bioethics, and anthropology, this chapter offers a brief introduction to and definition of the terms, concepts, and theories in which much of the work reported in this volume is grounded. It also provides a brief justification for approaching the concepts of fairness, equity, and justice from an interdisciplinary perspective, as well as a guide to the volume to illustrate how its individual chapters fit together to provide some answers to the enigma of human prosociality and our taste for fairness, equity, and justice. More... »

PAGES

1-7

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/978-3-319-58993-0_1

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-58993-0_1

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1091789623


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