Purpose economic anthropology 19th century

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Economic Anthropology

Chapter 1

Purpose economic anthropology 19th century: to test the claim that a world economic order must be found on the principles that underpinned a Western industrial society striving for universality → largely for insiders and experts, not for general public

Three stages in the development of economic anthropology:

  1. 1870s – 1940s: idea of evolutionary process → anthropologists were interested in whether the economic behavior of savages was underpinned by the same notions of efficiency and rationality that were taken to motivate economic action in the West

  2. 1950s – 1960s: Formalists (the concepts and tools of mainstream economics were adequate to the studying of tribesmen and peasants) ↔ Substantivists (institutional approaches were more appropriate; economic life in societies other than ours (impersonal markets) was always embedded in other institutions (like household and religion))

  3. 1970s - …: idea of neoliberal globalization → New Institutional Economics; new inquiries addressed the full range of human economic organizations, studies from different perspectives

→ now time for a 4th period: going further and addressing the world economy as a whole → economic anthropology would then finally emerge as a discipline in its own right

Economy → oikonomia (Greek: management of household)

→ studying of local modes of economy important for the discipline

Serious limitations to the book:

  • Economic anthropology is often placed in the context of Western intellectual history and this in turn is linked within a particular view or world history

  • Language: focusing primarily on English-language materials

Dominant use of the term economy nowadays: the aggregate of goods and services bought and sold in a national territory → often joined with one meaning ‘people ( like German: Volkswirschaft)

This economy → quantifiable and priority is often production → modern economies depend mostly on consumer demand → goods are valued for personal and social ends

Exchange (an universal principle of economic life but it take many forms and not all flows of resources should be categorized as exchanges) ↔ Distribution (a new form of sharing rather than exchange)

→ the dominant tradition since the 19th century has grown out of English Utilitarianism (it privileges free markets and individual maximalization of value within budget constraints)

Anthropology: from Greek Anthropos (man) → any systematic study of humanity as a whole

Critical (critique = to examine the foundations of contemporary civilization by having recourse to judgement (judgement = the ability to form an opinion on the basis of careful consideration)) Anthropology → Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778): idea of Nascent society: disasters and economic shortage must have been responsible for a prolonged period whose economic base can be summarized as hunter-gathering with huts → thereafter, cultivation of the land led to incipient property institutions whose culmination required the development of political society

On the other hand: Herder (1744-1803) laid the basis for relativist ethnography, which was more consistent with a world society fragmented into nation states → in the time of Herder, rationalist thinkers divided the world in Naturvölker and Kulturvölker (who had entered history by discovering civilizations)

→ in beginning 20th century anthropologists like Malinowski and Boas devoted themselves to close up studies of particular society → they broke new ground; the major gain for Economic anthropology was a much better understanding of complex motivations for behavior in the domains of production, distribution, exchange and consumption, and of how this human economy was connected to behavior in other domains → downside: anthropologists lost any perspective on the big picture, in both time and space

So in general

Focus on the universal (economics and cognitive psychologists) ↔ focus on the particular (anthropologists and historians)

Important contributions to economic anthropology :

Marcel Mauss: the Gift + Karl Polanyi: Great divide theory

Economic Anthropology

Hst. 3: The Rise of Modern Economics and Anthropology

John Stuart Mill → Utilitarian liberalism (1848) → refashioned from the 1870s to the neoclassical paradigm (it was neoclassical in that it still celebrated the market as the main source of increased economic welfare → but it replaced the classical view of Mill and Marx that saw economic value as an objective property of produced commodities, to be struggled over by the different classes, with a focus on the subjective calculations of individuals seeking to maximize their own utility)

→ the idea of the economic man: value not as a social average, but as an increment at the margin, given an actor’s total assets ( a dollar is worth more to a man with ten dollars then it is worth to a millionaire )

Alfred Marshall (1890) and Francis Edgeworth (1881): economics began to rely more on numerate methods, though nothing like the same degree as today

4 leading traditions of that time (19th century):

  1. The German Tradition

→ tended to emphasize the particular historical paths followed by different countries

Karl Bücher → Three-stage theory

  • 1st stage: the emergence of household as the key coordinating unit of production and consumption in preindustrial societies

  • 2nd stage: the City State → from this stage onwards, the market becomes very important

  • 3rd stage: the contemporary national economy (Volkswirschaft)

Bücher recognized the fundamental importance of exchange (the Gift) in the establishment of the human economy

→ also Bücher emphasized, like Aristotle did, the closed, autarkic nature of the subsistence-oriented systems

Bücher also emphasized the contextualizing of economic life: the principles of the market and the new methodological individualism could not explain all economic behaviour, not even in newly unified Germany

Max Weber (1922) → based his ideas upon the dialectical premise of Hegel and Kant → form (arising from the operations in the mind) ↔ substance (perception of the material world through the sense) → very different rationalities

Thurnwald (1932) and Polanyi (1930s) → demonstrated the significance of reciprocity through ethnographies

  1. The British Tradition

Bronislaw Malinowski → founder of economic anthropology → fieldwork in a single location (trobriands) and on detailed portrayal of individual human actors → he showed that a complex system of inter-island trades could be organized without markets, money or states and on the basis of generosity rather than greed (Kula)

→ also, Malinowski noted the importance of cooperation: it would serve more general social ends, but he didn’t lost eye of the room for individual choice

critic on Malinowski: he portrayed traditional activities of natives and ignored the extent to which they had already been incorporated by government officers, missionaries etcetera into new colonial systems

Malinowski’s functionalism established a new school of Anthropology in Britain → A.R. Radcliffe-Brown’s Structural-Functionalism (1952): comparative science of society; Firth (1939): one of the first formalists

  1. The American Tradition

The notion of institution was central to North American economic scholarship (Veblen and Commons) → more explicitly political version of economic science

In anthropology: Franz Boas important ( however, their aversion to the evolutionist paradigm of the 19th century led them unable to theorize the relationship between economy and society )

Rural Mexico convenient for American anthropologists, who lacked a large overseas empire replete with tribes

George Foster (1942,1948): image of the limited good: the idea that the good things in life were understood to be scarce, so that one man’s gain was likely to be another’s loss

  1. The French Tradition

Marcel Mauss → The Gift (1925) → critique on Malinowski → his attack on economic individualism emphasized the personal, social and spiritual dimensions of exchange in all societies, including our own

Durkheim (1893): reaction on Adam Smith (the idea of economic progress through specialization) and Herbert Spencer (Social Darwinism) → the individual is the result of its social development, and not its source

Mauss and Durkheim → at one line → focusing explicitly on the non-contractual element of the contract

Mauss eliminates the two utilitarian ideologies that purport to account for the evolution of contracts, namely natural economy (Smith’s idea that individual barter was aboriginal) and the notion that primitive communities were altruistic


Prestation: a service performed out of obligations, something akin to community service as an alternative to imprisonment

systèmes de prestations totales: the earliest form of exchange took place between entire social groups and involved the whole range of things people can do for each other

Chief conclusion Mauss: the attempt to create a free market for private contract is utopian and just as unrealizable as its antithesis, a collective based solely on altruism → human institutions everywhere are founded on the unity of individual and society, freedom and obligation, self-interest and concern for others

Malinowski (through the Kula trade in the Trobriands, the Economic man was absent) ↔ Mauss (that isn’t true, primitive valuables are like money in that they have purchasing power and this power has a figure set on it)

Economic Anthropology

Chapter 4: The Golden Age of Economic Anthropology

→ the decades after World War II: Economic Anthropology flourished at this time → focal point: formalist ↔ substantivist debate

Karl Polanyi (1886-1964) → undisputed founder of the substantivist school → 1957 → formal meaning of economic (means-end relationship; the mental process of economizing) ↔ substantive meaning of economic (concerned with the general provisioning of material wants in society)

→ what make something formal is its conformity with an idea or rule → a formalist approach emphasizes the regular operation of ideas, in this case the universal claims of neoclassical economics, while a substantivist approach gives priority to the empirical content of material circumstances and disputes that this diversity can be adequately grasped through just one set of concepts

→ but both approaches recognized the important of markets for economic coordination

Polanyi: Reciprocity (symmetrical form of exchange between groups or persons of equal standing; dominant in ‘primitive’ egalitarian societies with simple technologies) ↔ Redistribution (a principle of centricity, whereby resources were pooled and handed out through a hierarchy; presupposed the possibility of storing a surplus and some degree of social stratification)

Polanyi stated that, with industrialization and the creation of a market for free wage labor, the economy disembedded (in ancient societies, economy was embedded in society, commercial activity was concentrated in specific ports of trade, where it had little or no direct impact on the bulk of population)

Polanyi identified a double movement: the economics of laissez-faire ↔ social resistance and protectionism from the State

Polanyi also divided general-purpose money (our own) ↔ special-purpose monies (enjoyed wide circulation in the non-industrial world)

Polanyi saw money as something introduced from outside, and not internal → he distinguished: token money (designed to facilitate domestic trade) ↔ commodity money (designed to facilitate foreign trade): two systems often came in conflict → only national monopoly currencies combined the functions of payment, standard, store and exchange, and this gave them the capacity to sustain the set through a limited number of ‘all-purpose’ symbols

Formalists: saw themselves as applying the refined instruments of mainstream economics to unfamiliar settings → for them, the central concepts were in principle applicable everywhere, because they defines economics in terms of the choices made by individual actors under condition of scarcity

formalists (extended the idea of rational egoism to local settings) ↔ substantivists (didn’t agree with this; they believed that reciprocity and redistribution were the dominant forms of integration there rather than impersonal markets)

→ the non-industrial household was a good site for exploring the different approaches

Substantivists (how could the assumption of scarcity be generalized to all human behaviour when it transpired that hunter-gatherers and others with very simple technologies tended not to work much, while many farmers knew only drudgery from dawn to dusk?) ↔ Formalists (members of original affluent societies were maximizing their leisure options, given the opportunities open to them → whatever consumer choices people make, they are surely maximizing their individual utility)

formalism gradually broke up into a number of specialist approaches drawing on information theory, game theory, cost-benefit analysis, rational choice, agricultural development etc.

Economic Anthropology

Chapter 5: After the Formalist-Substantivist Debate

→ a few major figures in anthropology decided not to engage with the above mentioned debate (Leach, Douglas, Dumont, Sahlins)

1970s → Marxism was rediscovered in economic anthropology, especially enjoying a cult status in France → a deep structure of the ideal mode of production was outlined, with 3 central elements: (1) producers, (2) non-producers, (3) means of production → Reading Capital (Althusser and Balibar 1965) → Latin America a focus on Marxist research

Last decades of twentieth century: Feminism at the forefront of cultural critique → fell on fertile ground within anthropology:

  • Engels’ idea that patriarchal domination set in only after the dissolution of primitive communism and the rise of private property and class conflict were taken over by feminists → hunter-gather specialists showed that in those societies women’s autonomy in production was also reflected in a more general parity of status

  • Scholars like Leacock, Mead and Benedict were proof that women had long achieved parity inside the discipline of anthropology

1980s: decade of deconstruction → conventional categories of modernity became confused and discredited → feminist critique on valorization of production for the market ( which often men did ) above the expense of domestic reproduction ( which women did ) → their goal: bringing women into view when discussing the economy, to grant them an explicit quality with men

feminism has spawned a new focus on the place of sex in society, especially in capitalist societies (nice example page 82 in book) and it has torn apart conceptual pairs ( like individual ↔ society, nature ↔ culture, public ↔ private )

So in general: 1980s: dissolving of Polanyi school → many anthropologists went their own way → this period is called the cultural turn (the idea that denied the possibility of a comparative anthropological economics, since material life everywhere was structured by incommensurate local symbolic orders, of which bourgeois economics was just one

→ this cultural turn was preceded by German pioneers of primitive economics (looking at local ways of arranging economics) → during this cultural turn the notions culture and morality replaced notions as class and society + former dichotomies of the substantivist school (like capitalist societies ↔ non capitalist societies) were thought to be irrelevant

Dangers of the culturalist approach → there is a tendency to neglect history and political economy + immersion in the local cosmology is pushed to such an extreme that comparison and generalization come to seem impossible

End twentieth century: New Institutional Economics (NIE) → shared a commitment for hard science (so more formalist) and viewed all economic institutions as markets, defining institutions as the rules of the gameproperty attracted a lot of attention around the turn of the century (which is often taken to provide the fundamental incentive structure for all economies)

Widespread disagreement over Property:

Economists (efficiency of economic organization must be decisive) ↔ legal scholars (property systems have many other social functions that are not reducible to economic efficiency) → economic anthropologists take in middle ground (how people hold objects of various kinds varies greatly, but property rules are everywhere significant in constraining production and consumption)

Anthropology of money: anthropologists and sociologists have long rejected the impersonal approach to money and markets offered by mainstream economists → people everywhere personalize money, bending it to their own purposes through a variety of social instruments (Money and The Morality of Exchange (Bloch & Parry 1989))

Underlying idea Durkheim (1912): Money, such as he argued for Religion, is the principal means for us all to bridge the gap between everyday personal experiences and a society whose wider reaches are impersonal → this idea was taken up later by Polanyi and echoed by Hart (token money (token of an authority issued by states) and commodity money (made by markets))

Dominant view on money: it is a convenient means of exchange or barter between individuals who hold private property in what they buy and sell

Economic Anthropology

Chapter 7: The Socialist Alternative

Basic issues for economic development in most regions of the Second World → most important: the means of production passed into collective ownership

Collective ownership → State ownership (seen as ideologically superior) ↔ Cooperative ownership (of farms and factories by their workers) → Western social scientist called this totalitarianism

Anthropology in socialist countries was usually know as ethnology and it was associated with the study of the primitive and the backward (neither of these orientations gave a high priority to economic anthropology) → the latter ( the primitive and the backward had to be overcome by the march of socialist progress

→ the Stalinist version of factories in the countryside and anthropologist ethnographies on Western and Southern Europe weren’t so different (individualization of Marriage and Rural Exodus) → the new system brought disproportionate prosperity to the countryside → in event, members of cooperative farms would find some space for private commercial activities

→ the categorizations of the Polanyi school suited to describing these socialist rural economies (though Polanyi’s framework was at the time already out of fashion):

  • Redistribution was the most salient mode of integration (socialist officials formed a new class. Although low-level bureaucrats in enterprises and farms who tended their own gardens were obviously a different stratum from the all-powerful nomenklatura at higher levels)

  • Markets regulated this socialist redistribution (work point were replaced by salaries and wages and private access to the market expanded)

  • The Household remained a vital unit of production and consumption, thanks to the generous allocation of plots and gardens

  • Reciprocity linked households and socialist office-holder to each other through mutual aid and connections (this applies to the latter)

→ in urban industrial contexts, working conditions were inhumane, but, since workers got paid for the time they worked behind their machines, they retained at least one element of control over their labour (so alienation (in Marxist terms) was reduced)

Kornai (1980) → theory of the over-centralized economy → Soft Budget Constraint (it rendered bankruptcy almost impossible; the expectation was that production units would always be bailed out by central authorities)

Katherine Verdery (1996) → a more general theory of socialism → the entire system was driven by an impulse to maximize not money or capital, as a Western firm would, but what she termed the allocative power of State officials (so State officials wanted to keep in power)

1990s → fall of the 2nd world → it became easier for Western researchers to do research in former 2nd world countries + there were no more heating debates between opposing theoretical schools → the postsocial transformation (early analysis distinguished 2 alternative paths to his):

  1. Shock Therapy (Sachs 1989): the benefits of the market would be forfeited unless there was full and immediate privatization of state assets and the imposition of hard budgets for all economic actors (so no half measures)

  2. Gradualism: its advocates favored allowing the State to dispose of its property more slowly, to intervene to maintain employment levels and to restrict or delay the influx of foreign capital

→ process of transition was more brutally disruptive in those countries where the principle of the market had been more consistently repressed over a longer period → the SU for instance seemed to be moving towards feudalism rather than capitalism → Central planning was not replaced by capitalism, but by barter transactions mediated by new forms of patronage and corruption

small-scale marketing in capitalist countries became a survival strategy for trader tourists (victims of decollectivization and factory closures, who sold whatever they could lay their hands on in the workplace and even in their apartment to meet basic subsistence needs); also intensification of subsistence production was another option

→ on the other hand, ethnographers documented the emergence of biznismen, who were able to profit from the postsocial transformation → they found that new patterns of stratification often led to a positive reassessment of the old socialist institutions

→ the new market economy was boosted by more or less rapid privatization of assets previously owned by the state or by some lower form of collective → the gap between expectations ↔ realities was often very great here

→ anthropologists focused on the countryside: Privatization had many forms in these rural areas, but rural production levels and the productivity of land declined almost everywhere (with the ending of socialist subsidies, many could not afford to purchase fertilizer or to maintain their machinery + large areas of cultivated land fell out of production as the new owners failed to use the parcels allotted to them

→ but also moral values were important → the idea of a free market for farm labour was a foreign idea (land was owned for different reasons, than economical reasons, such as out of respect for their forefathers, although the land didn’t offer any economic prospect → Karl Polanyi: Land and Labour are fictitious commodities → he was proven right in this case

→ new elites soon began to emerge → these were often former communists, who had the information and the social capital to make profitable use of their new property → in both town and countryside, most goods were readily available, but only for those who could afford it → the right networks were no longer enough to gain access to those goods, only money could command the goods

→ numerous ethnographic studies suggest that the nature of the family and of social networks has changed considerably since the socialist era, if only as a result of temporary labor migration, the full extent of which is seldom captured in official statistics; yet there remain significant differences from the dominant pattern of the more wealthy capitalist economies → in the old shortage economy, information about the availability of goods was a crucial resource; nowadays information about jobs and temporary accommodation in a Western metropolis is just as critical; now as then, many people feel resentment towards the elite for whom luxury goods seem to be available in abundance → but the sources of this new wealth are less transparent than the privileges enjoyed by the socialist nomenklatura

→ we spoke about a postsocial transformation (not transition, implying a new stable condition) → but: stability is still nowhere in sight → anthropologists focused on particular on symbolic orders: perhaps their major achievement was to document resilience: to probe continuities neglected by other disciplines

Cuba, Vietnam, China → persistence of socialism: Reform Socialists → anthropologists place key role on that the societies didn’t want to expand their allocative power (Verdery 1996), but instead these governments respected the rights of autonomy and the rights of entrepreneurs and citizen consumers → crucial feature: rural transformation → the massive exodus of labour to form the floating population in the cities

Economic Anthropology

Chapter eight: One-world Capitalism

1980s: Anthropologists no longer focus on primitive societies → we all seem to be living in one world unified by capitalism → new ways were developed of studying globalization everywhere

Three historical developments underpinned this shift:

  • The end of history (as Fukuyama would call it), with which they meant the end of the Cold War

  • The rise of China and India as worldwide powers, forming a challenge to Western hegemony

  • Digital revolution in communications → the internet

Marshall Sahlins (2002) → afterology (the post-studies) → the class system of the industrial era had disappeared; people in rich countries became consumers, instead of producers

Development of capitalism → roots: Weber (1904/1905) and Sombart (1902); Graeber 2001: Capital is used to make more wealth, while wealth is all resources having economic value → but in economics it usually refers to the sum of everything that can be measured by universal equivalent, money → so the essence of capital is that it is wealth ( usually money ) capable of increasing its value

Stock (physical equipment, means of production) ↔ Identification (with the kind of money prevailing in the modern economy)

Marx (1867) and Locke (1690) → human labour as the source of wealth and the addition of machine to that labour to merely make it more productive

Economists → stress the withdrawal of money from immediate consumption and the enhanced productivity of factors other than labor in which the capitalist has invested → this vision, however, can’t cope with historical change between production and the circuit of money + it can’t cope with today’s financial crisis

Marx → Primitive Accumulation → modern capitalism as a form of making money with money in which free capital was exchanged with free wage labor

Adam Smith (1776) → identified specialization and division of labor as the best way of making capitalism work

Weber (1922) → didn’t agree with Marx → local people didn’t just go for capitalism → there must have been a massive cultural revolution to persuade people to place their lives in the hands of capitalists, whose principal orientation was to uncertain future profits

Weber came with the concept of Rational (the calculated pursuit of explicit ends by chosen means) Enterprise (= undertaken with a view (speculative, but drive by a compulsion to eliminate the risks entailed in relying on uncertain futures) to the future) → Rational Enterprise, and capitalism, rests above all on the entrepreneur’s ability to calculate outcomes

Capitalism is always modified by the specific conditions in which it grows → therefore ethnography should inform the search for general principles of economic organization in our world, for we need to explain not only the common form, but also its infinite variation

Pierre-Philippe Rey (1973): wherever capitalism developed, the new class was forced to make compromises with the old property-owning classes in ways that made the resulting hybrid something specific to that society

Economic Anthropologists have always forfeited the field of industrial work and unemploymentsociologists and psychologists have done here the most ( Braverman (1974) and Burawoy (1979) → Marxist sociologists; came with the concept of deskilling → the process whereby artisans are reduced to tending machined that require little of their traditional craft )

Study of consumption: Anthropologists again joined forces with sociologists and historians → focus on material culture and subject-object relations, of the way we mediate our relationships with others and the world through objects → this mediation often has practical, social and symbolic dimensions everywhere

France: Bourdieu (1984): consumer behaviour may be seen as an expression of habitus, and the things people own, whatever they may be, are in fact the incarnation of objectified social relations → differences in the goods we possess become a social language → while Bourdieu grants consumers individual choice as actors, he links consumption to their social position by assuming that every individual share the same code of meaning for these object-signs; this code is somehow imposed abstractly from the outside

Britain: Douglas (1979): if economists were serious about consumer choice as the engine of capitalist economy, they should turn to anthropologists for advice → later generation of Anglophone anthropologists: took up the idea of a system of objects (Bourdieu), but showed also that actors build up a private universe that has personal imaginative meaning beyond serving to position them in society → concept of appropriation (Miller 1987): seeks to capture a process whereby a domestic environment is built through mass-produces commodities made personal by belonging to a specific way of life

People express as well collective as individual identities through these objects → Chevalier (2010) → Social structure and organization make their appearance in the private sphere through home decoration → process of internalization

→ basis institution capitalism = firm → small businesses that rely on the labor of family members often remain extremely important + the role of kinship in facilitating and frustrating rational enterprise remains under-researched

however: politically, as well as economically, family firms have long been overshadowed by global organizations → flexible organization, which overlaps with those of governments → this has led to problems of managerial control and corruption, while control has passed to a new class of directors, lawyers and accountants

(history of the corporations from Bills of Rights until now → page 157/158 book) → we have now reached the moment that corporations are being granted the legal rights of individual citizens → most ordinary citizens cannot compete with them on equal footing in law or politics; never mind in the market (abstract entities like governments and corporations can hold exclusive rights in something against the world)

→ not only has private property evolved from individual ownership to corporate forms, but its focus has also shifted from real to intellectual property → from material objects to ideas (partly caused by digital revolution)

The art or science of selling (getting people to spend their money on consumption): also a rapidly expanding field → Applbaum (2003): emergence of shared meaning and goals in economic action are critical in corporation’s success in controlling every aspect of the social life of the commodities they sell

→ it has already become almost commonplace for anthropologists to work in financial centres

Economic Anthropology

Chapter 9: Where do we go from here?

→ important to look at economic anthropology within larger histories (like world history or Western social philosophy)

Academic institutions as presently structured do no favor this approach → it takes a lot of investment for anthropologists and a lot of financing for institutions (staying in the field for at least a year and learning local language)

but: as more anthropologists acquire complementary knowledge from outside their discipline and indeed often work within a multi- or interdisciplinary framework, the situation is changing → great obstacle: a pressure to publish fast, while historical breadth can only come with experience

→ in order to face the challenges of the coming century, we should also be ready to lean from predecessors such as Rousseau and Kant, whose eighteenth-century project was linked to the drive for universal emancipation → notion of a human economy, which we conceive of as being continuously remade by people in their everyday lives while it concerns the interests of humanity as a whole

Mauss (to the need for establishing local limits on social action must always be added the means of extending a community’s reach abroad (contesting the ethnography of Malinowski in which he claimed to have studied the Trobriands and the Kula as a local society and local practices) ; this is why markets and money in some form are universal) ↔ Polanyi (drew attention to how economic institutions organize and are in turn organized by a plurality of distribution mechanisms, that, in the modern world, affect the lives of millions of people who participate in them without being granted any measure of control)

Polanyi and Mauss made sure that their more abstract understandings of political economy were grounded in the everyday lives of concrete persons, thereby lending to field research the power of general ideas

→ so there is a tension: impersonal conditions of social life ↔ the persons who inevitably carry it out (blz. 168 for further information)

Foucault (1973) called anthropology a counter-science: it flows in the opposite direction, always trying to unmake the versions of man that human sciences like economics insist on making → Ethnography has been seen as the essence of this counter-science

so, in conclusion of this book: we can bury the concept of Homo Economicus (that implausible creature whose activities are motivated solely by individual self-interest)

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