Here is an article describing some recent “findings” suggesting that the economics of early farming communities helped to create the basic notion of fairness. (My scare quotes are there since I can’t really see that the researchers have proven anything. They’ve taken some people living today that they think are kinda sorta like people living thousands of years ago, and have them play a few simple games, and draw their conclusions. Seems dubious, but what do I know?)
2 thoughts on “Fairness and farming”
Maybe the researchers shouldn’t claim that markets created “fundamental redefinition of a fair deal,” but it still seems to me that they’re on to something when they say that living in a market-type society increases one’s tendency to treat strangers more fairly and punish unfair players. As the article says, the study seems to provide evidence against the standard evolutionary theory explanation for altruism and classical economic theory.
I wonder if hard incompatibilists should agree that small clan members’ lesser inclination to punish strangers is indicative of an inferior ‘sense of fairness’…