Philosophical issues arising from experimental economics

Philosophy Compass 2 (3):497–507 (2007)
Human beings are highly irrational, at least if we hold to an economic standard of ‘rationality’. Experimental economics studies the irrational behavior of human beings, with the aim of understanding exactly how our behavior deviates from the Homo economicus, as ‘rational man’ has been called. Insofar as philosophical theories depend upon rationality assumptions, experimental economics is the source of both problems and (at least potential) solutions to several philosophical issues. This article offers a programmatic and highly biased survey of some of these issues, with the hope of convincing the reader that experimental economics is well-deserving of careful study by philosophers
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