Firstly, the article surveys explicative schemes based on notions such as interest, rationality and utility; under several different names, they have a "paradigmatical privilege" in human sciences. Although these models seem to have an undeniable appeal, they also possess evident limitations, as much as the alternative models based on the "other dominating paradigm", that is, holism. They all reveal themselves to be unable to explain a great deal of human actions, specially those which can be placed under what the author calls "the system of gift". An alternative explicative model to the ruling paradigms is then presented, based on the idea of gift; it is inspired by the thinking of Marcel Mauss, and it may provide different presuppositions, new questions and new answers.
Gift; Paradigm; Marcel Mauss; Anti-utilitarism