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Sunday Forum, January 14: “The Death of Homo economicus? Self-interest, Morality and the Choices We Make"

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January 14: “The Death of Homo economicus? Self-interest, Morality and the Choices We Make

Sunday Forum, 9:45am in the Fleetwood Room, American Cathedral in Paris.

Traditional economics – and a lot of public policy – assumes that people are essentially rational and self-interested. But cognitive psychology has long challenged this. Much human behaviour is hard to describe as rational. And what about motives such as empathy and compassion? A growing body of research shows that, when we make choices, most of us do not merely make a rational calculation of what will be best for us. We really do ask ourselves what we ought to do. The problem is that policies designed on the assumption that people are consistently selfish may actually undermine our concern for others. In this forum, parishioner and OECD economist Bill Tompson considers how we might design policies and social institutions that could make us more responsive to “the better angels of our nature”.


Our weekly Sunday Forum is an opportunity to discuss and explore topics ranging from politics to spirituality, economics, and literature with fascinating speakers and other interested individuals. To find out more, send us an email at cathedral.office@americancathedral.org or give us a ring on 01 53 23 84 09.

Later Event: January 16
Junior Guild Lunch, January 16