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The Economy of Esteem – An Essay on Civil and Political Society - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Economy of Esteem: An Essay on Civil and Political Society

Geoffrey Brennan and Philip Pettit


However much people want esteem, it is an untradeable commodity: there is no way that I can buy the good opinion of another or sell to others my good opinion of them. But though it is a non-tradable good, esteem is allocated in society according to systematic determinants; people’s performance, publicity and presentation relative to others will help fix how much esteem they enjoy and how much disesteem they avoid. The fact that it is subject to such determinants means in turn that rational individuals are bound to compete with one another, however tacitly, in the attempt to control those influ ... More

Keywords: civil society, esteem, fame, incentives, institutions, political society, regulation, shame

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780199246489
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2004 DOI:10.1093/0199246483.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Geoffrey Brennan, author
Professor of Social and Political theory, Australian National University
Author Webpage

Philip Pettit, author
William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics, Princeton University
Author Webpage

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