Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

The state of nature and the evolution of political preferences

The state of nature and the evolution of political preferences Analysis of governmental institutions often proceeds from a hypothetical 'state of nature', according to which humans are analyzed as if they once existed as solitary individuals with no rules. Humans have never existed as humans in such an environment but have always been a group-living species. Rules have evolved with humans and were never 'created' de novo. Evolved rules have implications for contemporary governance. Human groups have always been in conflict, and rules distinguish between group members and outsiders. These rules have proved remarkably flexible. Some rules regulate private conduct of group members. Although the desirability of these rules today is unclear, I argue that a libertarian regime would have been unstable, which may explain why there are few persons with tastes for libertarian governments. This analysis further explains why utility functions contain elements of envy. Rules of property, contract, and hierarchy are well developed and universal among humans. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Law and Economics Review Oxford University Press

The state of nature and the evolution of political preferences

American Law and Economics Review , Volume 3 (1) – Jan 1, 2001

Loading next page...
 
/lp/oxford-university-press/the-state-of-nature-and-the-evolution-of-political-preferences-02F6XjqzF0
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
Oxford University Press
ISSN
1465-7252
eISSN
1465-7260
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Analysis of governmental institutions often proceeds from a hypothetical 'state of nature', according to which humans are analyzed as if they once existed as solitary individuals with no rules. Humans have never existed as humans in such an environment but have always been a group-living species. Rules have evolved with humans and were never 'created' de novo. Evolved rules have implications for contemporary governance. Human groups have always been in conflict, and rules distinguish between group members and outsiders. These rules have proved remarkably flexible. Some rules regulate private conduct of group members. Although the desirability of these rules today is unclear, I argue that a libertarian regime would have been unstable, which may explain why there are few persons with tastes for libertarian governments. This analysis further explains why utility functions contain elements of envy. Rules of property, contract, and hierarchy are well developed and universal among humans.

Journal

American Law and Economics ReviewOxford University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2001

There are no references for this article.