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Giving WellThe Ethics of Philanthropy$
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Patricia Illingworth, Thomas Pogge, and Leif Wenar

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199739073

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739073.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 October 2021

The Valmont Effect

The Valmont Effect

The Warm-Glow Theory of Philanthropy

(p.67) 4 The Valmont Effect
Giving Well

John Elster

Oxford University Press

This chapter raises and answers the question: Why do people give? Both altruistic and egoistic explanations for charitable giving are considered and found wanting. The chapter explores the egocentric motivation for giving that locates the impetus for giving in the desire of people to experience the warm glow of giving. The chapter finds, however, that egocentric giving is saddled with its own irrationality. In particular, donors who are motivated by the egocentric desire for the warm glow must believe that they are acting for purely altruistic reasons to secure the warm glow, but in truth they give for the sake of the warm glow. Thus, they are self deceived.

Keywords:   altruism, egocentric motivation, egoistic motivations, irrationality, philanthropy, warm glow

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