At the foundation of altruism: The bond as finality

Behavioral economics sought to draw inspiration from research on empathy to modify the interactive model of homo economicus. However, it was faced with the impossibility of considering emotions, and emotional empathy in particular, within the framework of a theory of social preferences rooted in the rationality of the interactionist and individualistic model of game theory. This impossibility is due to the fact that game theory first, then behavioral economics, did not want to question the fundamental motives of the individual when he/she interacts with others. Yet the question of emotions, and emotional empathy in particular, should lead to questioning the sources of behavior. Indeed, what do the other behavioral sciences tell us? While the survival of the organism is undoubtedly a fundamental objective common to all living things, human beings derive their specificity from the fact that they also have fundamental and pre-wired mechanisms that specialize them for life in interaction with their fellows. It is thanks to these fundamental mechanisms that the human species has been able to develop productive and societal modes of cooperation on a large scale. We propose, therefore, a change of perspective in behavioral economics that would allow us to consider that the ultimate objective of the individual in society is not to ensure his/her survival and needs but rather to create and maintain their links with others.