The Punisher s Brain

Author: Morris B. Hoffman
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107038065
Format: PDF, Kindle
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"Evolution built us to punish cheaters. Without that punishment instinct, we would never have been able to live in small groups, and would never have realized all the significant benefits that small-group living conferred, including mutual defense, cooperative hunting, property, divisions of labor and economies of scale. In fact, to a large extent our notions of right and wrong, of empathy and compassion, of fairness and justice, all come from the tensions of group living, and thus indirectly owe their very existence to punishment. It may sound strange that one key to civilization is our willingness to punish each other, but every parent knows it's true. Every parent also feels the irresistible pull not to punish too much, and in fact maybe not to punish at all - to forgive - and this, too, is a remnant of evolution. Our punishment instinct is not so much a sword ready to fall as it is a finely tuned balance, sometimes susceptible to the gentlest of breezes"--

My Letters to Amy

Author: Kimberley Schumacher
Publisher: WestBow Press
ISBN: 1512738611
Format: PDF, Docs
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I cant change how people choose to see things. I can choose to forgive. I may even be the lucky one. As the scapegoat I was sent out and away, shunned by all sides and made to carry the guilt of the entire situation on my head. But I was sent away, out into the wilderness where I cried, I mourned, and I was able to heal instead of harbor resentment and hatred. From there I began to rebuild, and pray for forgiveness. I would pray so that I could forgive. Then I began to feel restored and my Father in heaven began to help me see myself the way He does. I dont have to carry the pain; I only need from time to time to explain the scars. Hopefully, in doing so, I can prevent some of historys mistakes from invading our tomorrows Its our turn now, put down the rocks, share the gift.

Islam Instrumentalized

Author: Jean-Philippe Platteau
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107155444
Format: PDF, Docs
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In this book, economist Jean-Philippe Platteau addresses the question: does Islam, the religion of Muslims, bear some responsibility for a lack of economic development in the countries in which it dominates? In his nuanced approach, Platteau challenges the widespread view that the doctrine of Islam is reactionary in the sense that it defends tradition against modernity and individual freedom. He also questions the view that fusion between religion and politics is characteristic of Islam and predisposes it to theocracy. He disagrees with the substantivist view that Islam is a major obstacle to modern development because of a merging of religion and the state, or a fusion between the spiritual and political domains. But he also identifies how Islam's decentralized organization, in the context of autocratic regimes, may cause political instability and make reforms costly.

Rulers Religion and Riches

Author: Jared Rubin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 110703681X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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For centuries following the spread of Islam, the Middle East was far ahead of Europe. Yet, the modern economy was born in Europe. Why was it not born in the Middle East? In this book Jared Rubin examines the role that Islam played in this reversal of fortunes. It argues that the religion itself is not to blame; the importance of religious legitimacy in Middle Eastern politics was the primary culprit. Muslim religious authorities were given an important seat at the political bargaining table, which they used to block important advancements such as the printing press and lending at interest. In Europe, however, the Church played a weaker role in legitimizing rule, especially where Protestantism spread (indeed, the Reformation was successful due to the spread of printing, which was blocked in the Middle East). It was precisely in those Protestant nations, especially England and the Dutch Republic, where the modern economy was born.

Anarchy Unbound

Author: Peter T. Leeson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 110702580X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In Anarchy Unbound, Peter T. Leeson uses rational choice theory to explore the benefits of self-governance. Relying on experience from the past and present, Professor Leeson provides evidence of anarchy "working" where it is least expected to do so and explains how this is possible. Provocatively, Leeson argues that in some cases anarchy may even outperform government as a system of social organization, and demonstrates where this may occur. Anarchy Unbound challenges the conventional self-governance wisdom. It showcases the incredible ingenuity of private individuals to secure social cooperation without government and how their surprising means of doing so can be superior to reliance on the state.

Out of Poverty

Author: Benjamin Powell
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107029902
Format: PDF, Docs
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This book explores how sweatshops provide the best opportunity to workers and the role they play in the process of development.

Games in Economic Development

Author: Bruce Wydick
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139468014
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Games in Economic Development examines the roots of poverty and prosperity through the lens of elementary game theory, illustrating how patterns of human interaction can lead to vicious cycles of poverty as well as virtuous cycles of prosperity. This book shows how both social norms and carefully designed institutions can help shape the 'rules of the game', making better outcomes in a game possible for everyone involved. The book is entertaining to read, it can be accessed with little background in development economics or game theory. Its chapters explore games in natural resource use; education; coping with risk; borrowing and lending; technology adoption; governance and corruption; civil conflict; international trade; and the importance of networks, religion, and identity, illustrating concepts with numerous anecdotes from recent world events. Comes complete with an appendix, explaining the basic ideas in game theory used in the book.

Explaining Social Behavior

Author: Jon Elster
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316368564
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In this new edition of his critically acclaimed book, Jon Elster examines the nature of social behavior, proposing choice as the central concept of the social sciences. Extensively revised throughout, the book offers an overview of key explanatory mechanisms, drawing on many case studies and experiments to explore the nature of explanation in the social sciences; an analysis of the mental states - beliefs, desires, and emotions - that are precursors to action; a systematic comparison of rational-choice models of behavior with alternative accounts, and a review of mechanisms of social interaction ranging from strategic behavior to collective decision making. A wholly new chapter includes an exploration of classical moralists and Proust in charting mental mechanisms operating 'behind the back' of the agent, and a new conclusion points to the pitfalls and fallacies in current ways of doing social science, proposing guidelines for more modest and more robust procedures.

A Cooperative Species

Author: Samuel Bowles
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400838837
Format: PDF
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Why do humans, uniquely among animals, cooperate in large numbers to advance projects for the common good? Contrary to the conventional wisdom in biology and economics, this generous and civic-minded behavior is widespread and cannot be explained simply by far-sighted self-interest or a desire to help close genealogical kin. In A Cooperative Species, Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis--pioneers in the new experimental and evolutionary science of human behavior--show that the central issue is not why selfish people act generously, but instead how genetic and cultural evolution has produced a species in which substantial numbers make sacrifices to uphold ethical norms and to help even total strangers. The authors describe how, for thousands of generations, cooperation with fellow group members has been essential to survival. Groups that created institutions to protect the civic-minded from exploitation by the selfish flourished and prevailed in conflicts with less cooperative groups. Key to this process was the evolution of social emotions such as shame and guilt, and our capacity to internalize social norms so that acting ethically became a personal goal rather than simply a prudent way to avoid punishment. Using experimental, archaeological, genetic, and ethnographic data to calibrate models of the coevolution of genes and culture as well as prehistoric warfare and other forms of group competition, A Cooperative Species provides a compelling and novel account of how humans came to be moral and cooperative.

Readings in Public Choice and Constitutional Political Economy

Author: Charles Rowley
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 0387758704
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Public choice is the study of behavior at the intersection of economics and political science. Since the pioneering work of Duncan Black in the 1940s, public choice has developed a rich literature, drawing from such related perspectives as history, philosophy, law, and sociology, to analyze political decision making (by citizen-voters, elected officials, bureaucratic administrators, lobbyists, and other "rational" actors) in social and economic context, with an emphasis on identifying differences between individual goals and collective outcomes. Constitutional political economy provides important insights into the relationship between effective constitutions and the behavior of ordinary political markets. In Readings in Public Choice and Constitutional Political Economy, Charles Rowley and Friedrich Schneider have assembled an international array of leading authors to present a comprehensive and accessible overview of the field and its applications. Covering a wide array of topics, including regulation and antitrust, taxation, trade liberalization, political corruption, interest group behavior, dictatorship, and environmental issues, and featuring biographies of the founding fathers of the field, this volume will be essential reading for scholars and students, policymakers, economists, sociologists, and non-specialist readers interested in the dynamics of political economy.