This chapter argues that it because humans are naturally reluctant to harm others, most people in most of the world most of the time do not behave opportunistically. It advances a theory of harm-based moral restraint based on how feelings of guilt drive up the internal cost of behaving opportunistically. Guilt is triggered by feelings of sympathy that are, in turn, triggered by empathizing with harmed victims. The origins of the psychological mechanisms of guilt, sympathy, and empathy are discussed. Guilt is shown to have uniquely important qualities for effectuating moral restraint. Empathy, sympathy, guilt, and interpersonal utility effects are all accounted for in a simple model that provides a framework for subsequent analysis in the book.
Keywords: empathy; interpersonal utility effects; guilt; other-regarding preferences; sympathy
Chapter. 7618 words.
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