Chapter

The Demand for Esteem

Geoffrey Brennan and Philip Pettit

in The Economy of Esteem

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780199246489
Published online November 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601460 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199246483.003.0003
The Demand for Esteem

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If there is to be an economy of esteem, then esteem must be something that it makes sense for people to demand and seek out by their own efforts, thereby giving rise to unintended, aggregative consequences; it must be more that something that they welcome but can do nothing about attaining. It may seem that acting on the desire for esteem is counterproductive, since being seen to act on such a desire is unlikely to win esteem. But this does not hold under all circumstances, only in some special cases. And anyhow it will not be counterproductive to act under the virtual as distinct from the active control of that desire. The desire will be in virtual control when habit or other forces normally produce action but retain control only so long as the action does all right for the agent in esteem terms: if it fails to do so, then the desire for esteem may be activated and may take active control.

Keywords: counterproductivity; demand; teleological paradox; virtual control

Chapter.  7662 words. 

Subjects: Microeconomics

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