Work detail

"Alternative Economical Apporach to the Phenomenon of Altruism"

Author: PhDr. Pavel Štika
Year: 2006 - winter
Leaders: prof. RNDr. Jiří Hlaváček CSc.
Consultants:
Work type: Doctoral
Language: Czech
Pages: 77
Awards and prizes:
Link:
Abstract: In this paper I propose a possible solution which can enable economics to tackle the
phenomenon of genuine altruism motivated purely by an interest in welfare of the others.
In the second chapter I suggest methodological basis, which enables us to handle the
issue. Inspired by post-classical streams of economic thought I come out from the concept of
methodological realism leading to an organismic perception of men. Habitual behaviour is
then identified as a response of procedurally rational individual to the environment of
fundamental uncertainty.
In the third chapter I further enlarge perceiving of men by the conception of Jung’s
psychology of personality and the theory of cognitive dissonance. Distorting influence of the
unconscious part of psyche and conceptual way of reality perception enhance importance of
habits. Interpretation of habits is - beside behavioural habits - widened by habits called
perceptional.
In the fourth chapter I present a brief overview of two motivation theories – motivation
coming out from Maslow’s approach of hierarchization of needs and motivation coming out of
the theory of habit bolstering.
In the fifth chapter I propose a model, which reflects all the facts mentioned above. As
an optimal response to the model environment I identify certain form of altruism represented
by following of the sum-of-utilities maximization rule.
By comparison of the model and reality I come to the problems of social influence on
institutional, habitual equipment of an individual and I identify situations observed in real life,
which are similar to the modelled one. Following the optics of the model I next briefly handle
with problems of institutional change and coexistence of different cultures.
In the last chapter I show potential possibilities of next development of the model in
the domain of the Agent-Based Computational Economics. In the end I point out the fact, that
all our past behaviour (including thinking) determines our present limited set of choices, and
that all our current choices considerably determine our future.

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