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Reciprocal contracts – not competitive acquisition – explain the moral psychology of ownership

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 October 2023

Jean-Baptiste André
Affiliation:
Institut Jean Nicod, Département d’études cognitives, Ecole normale supérieure, Université PSL, EHESS, CNRS, Paris, France jeanbaptisteandre@gmail.com leo.fitouchi@gmail.com nbaumard@gmail.com
Léo Fitouchi
Affiliation:
Institut Jean Nicod, Département d’études cognitives, Ecole normale supérieure, Université PSL, EHESS, CNRS, Paris, France jeanbaptisteandre@gmail.com leo.fitouchi@gmail.com nbaumard@gmail.com
Nicolas Baumard
Affiliation:
Institut Jean Nicod, Département d’études cognitives, Ecole normale supérieure, Université PSL, EHESS, CNRS, Paris, France jeanbaptisteandre@gmail.com leo.fitouchi@gmail.com nbaumard@gmail.com

Abstract

We applaud Boyer's attempt to ground the psychology of ownership partly in a cooperative logic. In this commentary, we propose to go further and ground the psychology of ownership solely in a cooperative logic. The predictions of bargaining theory, we argue, completely contradict the actual features of ownership intuitions. Ownership is only about the calculation of mutually beneficial, reciprocal contracts.

Type
Open Peer Commentary
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press

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