Economic Behaviour As If Others Too Had Interests
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: African Books Collective
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We are greatly indebted to many people whose moral, editorial, and material support led to the composition and logical completion of this book. In gratitude, we remember Rev. Professor Laurenti Magesa of Hekima College whose unrelenting encouragement and guidance led to the composition and completion of this book. ...
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The twenty-first century has witnessed the dilemma of seven billion people having to share only one Planet Earth. Each of the seven billion people needs to survive and so the competition for resources has become stiffer than it used to be in those days when world population was still a few millions. Moreover, the world is not only crowded by human beings but also by visible and invisible non-human entities. ...
Chapter 1 - The Hegemony of Human Egoism
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Humans as Egoistic Beings
It is not uncommon to see people assisting one another, for example, by giving directions to strangers, contributing to charities, volunteering to work in refugee camps or in hospitals, sending aid to victims of natural calamities, visiting prisoners, feeding the hungry, paying school fees for orphans, and binding the wounds of survivors of accidents. ...
Chapter 2 - Altruism
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When people do generous things such as voluntary work in refugee camps, guiding strangers, contributing to charities, and giving aid to victims of natural disasters, we quickly conclude that they are altruistic because for us altruism means acting in other people’s interests. There is nothing wrong with referring to generous and charitable people as altruistic but what we ...
Chapter 3 - Economics And Selfishness
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If human beings were still living in the Garden of Eden, life would certainly be different from what it is today. Nobody would be worried about what to eat or what to wear. But something happened and so we had to leave the paradise. Since the expulsion from Eden, human beings have had to toil and labour for their welfare. The expulsion was a condemnation for us to evolve into economic animals. ...
Chapter 4 - Economic Systems As Institutionalized Selfishness
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By economic systems is meant the structure of ownership and control of important resources in a given economy. The owner of important resources determines what is to be produced in the economy, how it is to be produced and for whom it is to be produced. Because they have all these powers, the owners of the important resources in the economy tend to be domineering and selfish. Economic systems therefore are ways in which selfishness is institutionalized in societies. ...
Chapter 5 - Development or Egoism?
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The term development is like the devil, or the Holy Ghost among Christians, so often mentioned but hardly understood. To give a holistic definition of development is as tasking as piercing a nail through a dry log of a Thai teak. Put differently, it is as difficult as getting a live cat to lie on its back. We all talk about development of ourselves, talents, religions, nations, and continents. ...
Chapter 6 - Egoism and Multinational Corporations
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Multinational corporations are business firms that have their operations in more than one country. Jacques Maisonrouge in a speech once said that a corporation is a business structure whose sole reason for existence is the earning of profits by manufacturing products for as little as possible and selling them for as much as possible. It does not matter whether the product does good or evil; what counts is that it be consumed— in ever-increasing quantities. ...
Chapter 7 - Egoism and the Environment
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According to the Random House Dictionary, environment is the aggregate of surrounding things, conditions, or influences. The roots of the term lay in the French word environ, which means “to surround”, “to envelop”, or “to enclose”.193 Cognate term is “milieu”, which means the same as environment but D. Cooper nuances that environment as milieu is not something a creature is merely in, but something it has.194 ...
Chapter 8 - Contemporary Environmental Crisis and Responses
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State of the Environment: the Global Perspective
The idea of the “global environment” has its origins in debates about “environmental crisis” in the 1960s and 1970s.213 The concept emerged against a background of vulnerability and threat. Threats to the global environment became an object of public and political interest. Of particular importance was Neil Armstrong. ...
Chapter 9 - Industrialized Countries’ Development and Environment Experiences
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The terms industrialized, advanced, or developed countries are often used interchangeably to describe countries that command strong technological and economic power. In economic terms, the World Bank describes them as countries with at least Gross National Income per capita of $ US 9, 206. We find these countries in almost all the continents except Africa and South America. ...
Chapter 10 - African Development and Environment Experiences
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Strong Aspirations amidst Many Dilemmas
When we talk of African development and environment experiences, we are aware that these are not homogeneous everywhere. We know of the yawning inter country and intra country differences. These differences are culturally, socially, economically, geographically, and environmentally informed. ...
Chapter 11 - Education For Altruistic Egoism
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Training a person for pure altruism can only be an idealistic task. A purely altruistic person cannot survive in a world of ordinary human beings like us. People need to work for their interests in order for them to survive. However, meeting one’s interests does not necessarily require preventing other people from meeting their own interests. ...
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Today, more than ever before, human economic behaviour deserves a renaissance. World population has skyrocketed and, as a result, the level of competition for resources has gone up. Egoism has increasingly become an inevitable trait in the pursuit of interests for human survival. Yet, it is also becoming increasingly evident that extreme egoism is dangerous ...
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Page Count: 236
Publication Year: 2012