Chapter

Rational Choice Theory

John Dupré

in Human Nature and the Limits of Science

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780199248063
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597367 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199248060.003.0006
 Rational Choice Theory

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Develops a critique of important aspects of rational‐choice theory, parallel in part to the critique of evolutionary psychology. Whereas rational choice informs some potentially useful models of market phenomena, the attempt to conceive all human life as market based is unpromising and provides a paradigm of scientific imperialism. Using as an example the concept of work, criticism of scientific imperialism leads into a more detailed defence of a pluralistic approach to human behaviour. Concludes with a discussion of the distinction between positive and normative economics and a further attack on the fact/value distinction.

Keywords: fact/value distinction; market economics; pluralism; rational choice; scientific imperialism

Chapter.  15624 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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