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Of free and closing gifts

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Chapter Summary

The free gift is the gift that transcends the force of the norm of reciprocity and hence escapes the trammels and temptations of self-interest, for freeness means not only that the gift need not have been made in the first place, but that once made and accepted it raises no obligation, moral or otherwise, to make a return. The free gift is conceptually and even psychologically parasitical on Odin’s rule. The idea of the free gift is part of a set of doctrines that maintains certain hierarchies. The doctrine of free gift has more than one dark side. Yet, as Audun indicated, there is still some small space open for short durations in which a free gift of unarguably great and positive value, like some anti-matter, can exist before it quickly disappears. The one kind of gift we know for certain raised no obligation to reciprocate was the closing gift.

Keywords: Audun; closing gift; free gift; Odin’s rule



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