publication . Article . 2016

Morality Beyond Social Preferences: Smithian Sympathy, Social Neuroscience and the Nature of Social Consciousness

Sylvie Thoron;
Open Access English
  • Published: 01 Jun 2016
  • Publisher: HAL CCSD
  • Country: France
Abstract
International audience; The theory of social preferences expanded the definition of the utility function in order to reproduce the pro­social behavior observed in experiments. Does this then mean that this is the route towards a positive theory of morality in economics? We do not think so. Our claim is that there is an epistemic contradiction between methodological individualism which assumes that the economic agent's rationality is autonomous from society, and the nature of social consciousness. Therefore, we argue that a positive theory of morality should rely on social mechanisms that could not fit in this framework. We give two examples of lines of research ...
Subjects
free text keywords: préférences sociales, économie expérimentale, sympathie, spectateur impartial, sentiments moraux, individualisme méthodologique, neuroscience, empathie émotionnelle, empathie cognitive, social preferences, experimental economics, sympathy, impartial spectator, moral sentiments, methodological individualism, emotional empathy, cognitive empathy, JEL: B - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches/B.B4 - Economic Methodology, JEL: B - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches/B.B3 - History of Economic Thought: Individuals, JEL: B - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches/B.B1 - History of Economic Thought through 1925, [SHS.HISPHILSO]Humanities and Social Sciences/History, Philosophy and Sociology of Sciences, [SHS.ECO]Humanities and Social Sciences/Economics and Finance, [SCCO.NEUR]Cognitive science/Neuroscience, Social Sciences, H, Social philosophy, Social cognitive theory of morality, Social psychology, Social change, Social consciousness, Moral disengagement, Epistemology, Psychology, Moral development, Social neuroscience, Morality, media_common.quotation_subject, media_common
17 references, page 1 of 2

Anspach,  Ralph.  1972.  The  Implications  of  the  Theory  of  Moral  Sentiments  for  Adam  Smith's Economic Thought. History of Political Economy, 4(1): 176­206. [OpenAIRE]

DOI : 10.1215/00182702­4­1­176 Artinger,  Florian,  Filippos  Exadaktylos,  Hannes  Koppel  and  Lauri  Saaksvuori.  2014.  In  Others' Shoes:  Do  Individual  Differences  in  Empathy  and  Theory  of  Mind  Shape  Social  Preferences? PLoS ONE, 9(4): e92844. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092844.

Aumann,  R.J.  and  Sergiu  Hart  (eds).  2002.  Handbook  of  Game  Theory  with  Economic Applications. Oxford: Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3.

Batson, C. Daniel. 2011. Altruism in Humans. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ben­Ner,  Avner,  Louis  Putterman,  Fanmin  Kong  and  Dan  Magan.  2004.  Reciprocity  in  a  TwoPart Dictator Game. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 53(3): 333­352.

Binmore,  Ken  and  Avner  Shaked.  2010.  Experimental  Economics:  Where  Next?  Journal  of Economic Behavior & Organization, 73(1): 87­100.

Blanchette,  Isabelle  and  Michelle  Campbell.  2012.  Reasoning  about  Highly  Emotional  Topics: Syllogistic Reasoning in a Group of War Veterans. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 2(24): 157­ 164.

Bolton,  Gary  E.,  and  Axel  Ockenfels.  2000.  ERC:  A  Theory  of  Equity,  Reciprocity,  and Competition. American Economic Review, 90(1): 166­193.

Servátka,  Maros.  2010.  Does  Generosity  Generate  Generosity?  An  Experimental  Study  of Reputation Effects in a Dictator Game. The Journal of Socio­Economics, 39(1): 11­17.

Singer, Tania, Ben Seymour, John O'Doherty, Holger Kaube, Raymond J. Dolan, Chris D. Frith. 2004.  Empathy  for  Pain  Involves  the  Affective  but  not  Sensory  Components  of  Pain.  Science, 303(5661): 1157­1162.

Singer,  Tania,  and  Ernst  Fehr.  2005.  The  Neuroeconomics  of  Mind  Reading  and  Empathy. American Economic Review, 95(2): 340­345.

Singer, Tania. 2008. Understanding Others: Brain Mechanisms of Theory of Mind and Empathy. In:  Glimcher  Paul  W.,  Colin  F.  Camerer,  Ernst  Fehr  and  Russel  A.  Poldrack  (eds), Neuroeconomics: Decision Making and the Brain. London: Academic Press, 251­268.

Small,  Deborah  A.,  George  Loewenstein  and  Paul  Slovic.  2007.  Sympathy  and  Callousness:  The Impact  of  Deliberative  Thought  on  Donations  to  Identifiable  and  Statistical  Victims. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 102(2): 143­153.

Spreng,  R.  Nathan,  Margaret  C.  McKinnon,  Raymond  A.  Mar  and  Brian  Levine.  2009.  The Toronto  Empathy  Questionnaire:  Scale  Development  and  Initial  Validation  of  a  Factor­Analytic Solution to Multiple Empathy Measures. Journal of Personality Assessment, 91(1): 62­71. [OpenAIRE]

Takagishi,  Haruto,  Shinya  Kameshima,  Joanna  Schug,  Michiko  Koizumi  and  Toshio  Yamagishi. 2010.  Theory  of  Mind  Enhances  Preference  for  Fairness.  Journal  of  Experimental  Child Psychology, 105(1­2): 130­137.

17 references, page 1 of 2
Abstract
International audience; The theory of social preferences expanded the definition of the utility function in order to reproduce the pro­social behavior observed in experiments. Does this then mean that this is the route towards a positive theory of morality in economics? We do not think so. Our claim is that there is an epistemic contradiction between methodological individualism which assumes that the economic agent's rationality is autonomous from society, and the nature of social consciousness. Therefore, we argue that a positive theory of morality should rely on social mechanisms that could not fit in this framework. We give two examples of lines of research ...
Subjects
free text keywords: préférences sociales, économie expérimentale, sympathie, spectateur impartial, sentiments moraux, individualisme méthodologique, neuroscience, empathie émotionnelle, empathie cognitive, social preferences, experimental economics, sympathy, impartial spectator, moral sentiments, methodological individualism, emotional empathy, cognitive empathy, JEL: B - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches/B.B4 - Economic Methodology, JEL: B - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches/B.B3 - History of Economic Thought: Individuals, JEL: B - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches/B.B1 - History of Economic Thought through 1925, [SHS.HISPHILSO]Humanities and Social Sciences/History, Philosophy and Sociology of Sciences, [SHS.ECO]Humanities and Social Sciences/Economics and Finance, [SCCO.NEUR]Cognitive science/Neuroscience, Social Sciences, H, Social philosophy, Social cognitive theory of morality, Social psychology, Social change, Social consciousness, Moral disengagement, Epistemology, Psychology, Moral development, Social neuroscience, Morality, media_common.quotation_subject, media_common
17 references, page 1 of 2

Anspach,  Ralph.  1972.  The  Implications  of  the  Theory  of  Moral  Sentiments  for  Adam  Smith's Economic Thought. History of Political Economy, 4(1): 176­206. [OpenAIRE]

DOI : 10.1215/00182702­4­1­176 Artinger,  Florian,  Filippos  Exadaktylos,  Hannes  Koppel  and  Lauri  Saaksvuori.  2014.  In  Others' Shoes:  Do  Individual  Differences  in  Empathy  and  Theory  of  Mind  Shape  Social  Preferences? PLoS ONE, 9(4): e92844. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092844.

Aumann,  R.J.  and  Sergiu  Hart  (eds).  2002.  Handbook  of  Game  Theory  with  Economic Applications. Oxford: Elsevier, edition 1, volume 3, number 3.

Batson, C. Daniel. 2011. Altruism in Humans. New York: Oxford University Press.

Ben­Ner,  Avner,  Louis  Putterman,  Fanmin  Kong  and  Dan  Magan.  2004.  Reciprocity  in  a  TwoPart Dictator Game. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 53(3): 333­352.

Binmore,  Ken  and  Avner  Shaked.  2010.  Experimental  Economics:  Where  Next?  Journal  of Economic Behavior & Organization, 73(1): 87­100.

Blanchette,  Isabelle  and  Michelle  Campbell.  2012.  Reasoning  about  Highly  Emotional  Topics: Syllogistic Reasoning in a Group of War Veterans. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 2(24): 157­ 164.

Bolton,  Gary  E.,  and  Axel  Ockenfels.  2000.  ERC:  A  Theory  of  Equity,  Reciprocity,  and Competition. American Economic Review, 90(1): 166­193.

Servátka,  Maros.  2010.  Does  Generosity  Generate  Generosity?  An  Experimental  Study  of Reputation Effects in a Dictator Game. The Journal of Socio­Economics, 39(1): 11­17.

Singer, Tania, Ben Seymour, John O'Doherty, Holger Kaube, Raymond J. Dolan, Chris D. Frith. 2004.  Empathy  for  Pain  Involves  the  Affective  but  not  Sensory  Components  of  Pain.  Science, 303(5661): 1157­1162.

Singer,  Tania,  and  Ernst  Fehr.  2005.  The  Neuroeconomics  of  Mind  Reading  and  Empathy. American Economic Review, 95(2): 340­345.

Singer, Tania. 2008. Understanding Others: Brain Mechanisms of Theory of Mind and Empathy. In:  Glimcher  Paul  W.,  Colin  F.  Camerer,  Ernst  Fehr  and  Russel  A.  Poldrack  (eds), Neuroeconomics: Decision Making and the Brain. London: Academic Press, 251­268.

Small,  Deborah  A.,  George  Loewenstein  and  Paul  Slovic.  2007.  Sympathy  and  Callousness:  The Impact  of  Deliberative  Thought  on  Donations  to  Identifiable  and  Statistical  Victims. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 102(2): 143­153.

Spreng,  R.  Nathan,  Margaret  C.  McKinnon,  Raymond  A.  Mar  and  Brian  Levine.  2009.  The Toronto  Empathy  Questionnaire:  Scale  Development  and  Initial  Validation  of  a  Factor­Analytic Solution to Multiple Empathy Measures. Journal of Personality Assessment, 91(1): 62­71. [OpenAIRE]

Takagishi,  Haruto,  Shinya  Kameshima,  Joanna  Schug,  Michiko  Koizumi  and  Toshio  Yamagishi. 2010.  Theory  of  Mind  Enhances  Preference  for  Fairness.  Journal  of  Experimental  Child Psychology, 105(1­2): 130­137.

17 references, page 1 of 2
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