Reciprocity, altruism and the civil society: In praise of heterogeneity , Luigino Bruni. Routledge, 2008, XIII + 158 pages [Book Review]

Economics and Philosophy 26 (1):108-114 (2010)
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Economic theory has tended to reduce all social bonds and relations to forms of contract, whereas social theory has seen contracts as opposed to, and destructive of, genuine social bonds. Bruni sees these contrapositions as ideological (‘left’ against ‘right’, p. xi). His main goal is to overcome them; to show that three forms of reciprocity, covering the ideological spectrum from left to right, are complementary and simultaneously required in a healthy society. These three forms are, in his words: ‘(1) the reciprocity of contract or ‘cautious’; (2) the reciprocity of friendship or philia and (3) the ‘unconditional’ reciprocity, the one more controversial . . .’ (p. x).
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