Cordial Reciprocity: The Ethical Basis of Human Cooperation

  • Patrici Calvo
Part of the Ethical Economy book series (SEEP, volume 55)


Reciprocity is one of the main challenges for twenty-first-century economic science because of its leading role in specifying and developing human cooperation. Beyond the exchange of equivalents controlled by contracts and guaranteed by Law, reciprocity, in the many forms it takes, allows us to think about the possibility of establishing different types of cooperation among agents to meet the shared objectives that are highly beneficial for them all. However, the various reciprocity approaches do not explain why agents tend to relate to one another when they have no information about the bindable parties’ response capacity. This is mutual recognition of the value that they deserve as people, and of effective and communication capacities so they can feel emotions for themselves and for others, and can use dialogue and reach agreements about the different things in the world to allow the minimum conditions of trust needed to establish and implement those reciprocal behaviours observed by sociobiology and by evolutionary and humanistic economics. This chapter aims to look in-depth at the unconditional and unconditioned reciprocity that underlies this type of mutual recognition, which is cordially constituted, to show the role it plays in the appearance and promotion of behaviours that enable human cooperation in highly competitive contexts like those in economics.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrici Calvo
    • 1
  1. 1.Universitat Jaume ICastellón de la PlanaSpain

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