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The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life (Revised Edition)

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The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life (Revised Edition)

The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life (Revised Edition)

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    Description de "The Company of Strangers: A Natural History of Economic Life (Revised Edition)"

    Human beings are the only species in nature to have developed an elaborate division of labor between strangers. Even something as simple as buying a shirt depends on an astonishing web of interaction and organization that spans the world. But unlike that other uniquely human attribute, language, our ability to cooperate with strangers did not evolve gradually through our prehistory. Only 10,000 years ago--a blink of an eye in evolutionary time--humans hunted in bands, were intensely suspicious of strangers, and fought those whom they could not flee. Yet since the dawn of agriculture we have refined the division of labor to the point where, today, we live and work amid strangers and depend upon millions more. Every time we travel by rail or air we entrust our lives to individuals we do not know. What institutions have made this possible?In The Company of Strangers, Paul Seabright provides an original evolutionary and sociological account of the emergence of those economic institutions that manage not only markets but also the world's myriad other affairs.Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, history, psychology, and literature, Seabright explores how our evolved ability of abstract reasoning has allowed institutions like money, markets, cities, and the banking system to provide the foundation of social trust. But how long can the networks of modern life survive when we are exposed as never before to risks originating in distant parts of the globe? This lively narrative shows us the remarkable strangeness, and fragility, of our everyday lives.The Company of Strangers shows us the remarkable strangeness, and fragility, of our everyday lives. This completely revised and updated edition includes a new chapter analyzing how the rise and fall of social trust explain the unsustainable boom in the global economy over the past decade and the financial crisis that succeeded it.

    Détails sur le produit

    • Reliure : Paperback
    • 368  pages
    • Dimensions :  2.5cmx15.5cmx23.4cm
    • Poids : 476.3g
    • Editeur :   Princeton University Press Paru le
    • ISBN :  0691146462
    • EAN13 :  9780691146461
    • Classe Dewey :  306.3
    • Langue : Anglais

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    Human beings are the only species in nature to have developed an elaborate division of labor between strangers. Even something as simple as buying a shirt depends on an astonishing web of interaction and organization that spans the world. But unlike that other uniquely human attribute, language, our ability to cooperate with strangers did not evolve gradually through our prehistory. Only 10,000 years ago--a blink of an eye in evolutionary time--humans hunted in bands, were intensely suspicious of strangers, and fought those whom they could not flee. Yet since the dawn of agriculture we have refined the division of labor to the point where, today, we live and work amid strangers and depend upon millions more. Every time we travel by rail or air we entrust our lives to individuals we do not know. What institutions have made this possible?In The Company of Strangers, Paul Seabright provides an original evolutionary and sociological account of the emergence of those economic institutions that manage not only markets but also the world's myriad other affairs.Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, history, psychology, and literature, Seabright explores how our evolved ability of abstract reasoning has allowed institutions like money, markets, cities, and the banking system to provide the foundation of social trust. But how long can the networks of modern life survive when we are exposed as never before to risks originating in distant parts of the globe? This lively narrative shows us the remarkable strangeness, and fragility, of our everyday lives.The Company of Strangers shows us the remarkable strangeness, and fragility, of our everyday lives. This completely revised and updated edition includes a new chapter analyzing how the rise and fall of social trust explain the unsustainable boom in the global economy over the past decade and the financial crisis that succeeded it.