David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Economic Methodology 7 (3):395-426 (2000)
This paper makes explicit the rhetoric of optimization. Various arguments are examined, in order to determine whether we should retain optimization theory or assume bounded rationality. Empirical evidence confounds optimization theory; in the face of experimental studies, an empirical dilemma emerges, according to which we should discard either the theory of expected utility or the criterion of empirical refutation. Methodological criticisms attack optimization theory's epistemological status; together, they give rise to a methodological trilemma, according to which optimization theory is indeterminate, unfalsifiable or tautological. Methodological defences seem to protect optimization theory against criticism; but a more careful examination shows that either they involve logical defects or they rest upon a conceptual gap. Theoretical difficulties plague optimization theory; though various extensions have been proposed, optimization theory entails a theoretical dilemma, according to which one must choose between unrealistic environment and unrealistic abilities. Should we abandon optimization theory? The leading question will be answered in the affirmative: optimization theory should be abandoned and bounded rationality should be assumed.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Daniel Kahneman, Paul Slovic & Amos Tversky (eds.) (1982). Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases. Cambridge University Press.
Richard E. Nisbett & Lee Ross (1980). Human Inference: Strategies and Shortcomings of Social Judgment. Prentice-Hall.
Leonard J. Savage (1954). The Foundations of Statistics. Wiley Publications in Statistics.
Amartya Sen (1989). On Ethics and Economics. Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 51 (4):722-723.
Jon Elster (1986). Ulysses and the Sirens. Philosophy and Public Affairs 15 (1):82-95.
Citations of this work BETA
Stephen Ellis (2008). The Varieties of Instrumental Rationality. Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):199-220.
Daniel John Zizzo (2008). Anger and Economic Rationality. Journal of Economic Methodology 15 (2):147-167.
Similar books and articles
Philippe Mongin (2000). Does Optimization Imply Rationality? Synthese 124 (1-2):73 - 111.
Daniel J. Gilman (1993). Optimization and Simplicity: Marr's Theory of Vision and Biological Explanation. Synthese 107 (3):293-323.
Paul Weirich (2010). Optimization and Improvement. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 148 (3):467 - 475.
Christian Arnsperger (2000). Methodological Altruism as an Alternative Foundation for Individual Optimization. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 3 (2):115-136.
Daniel R. Fusfeld (1996). Rationality and Economic Behavior. Journal of Economic Methodology 3 (2):307-315.
Björn Hagströmer, Richard G. Anderson, Jane M. Binner, Thomas Elger & Birger Nilsson, Mean-Variance Vs. Full-Scale Optimization: Broad Evidence for the UK.
Sahotra Sarkar (2005). Maynard Smith, Optimization, and Evolution. Biology and Philosophy 20 (5):951-966.
Frederic Laville (2000). Foundations of Procedural Rationality: Cognitive Limits and Decision Processes. Economics and Philosophy 16 (1):117-138.
Duane Windsor (2007). Constrained Multiple Goal Optimization as a Theory of the Firm. Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 18:283-288.
Thomas Bartz-Beielstein (2008). How Experimental Algorithmics Can Benefit From Mayo's Extensions to Neyman–Pearson Theory of Testing. Synthese 163 (3):385 - 396.
Michael Franke & Gerhard Jäger (2012). Bidirectional Optimization From Reasoning and Learning in Games. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 21 (1):117-139.
Gerhard Jäger (2002). Some Notes on the Formal Properties of Bidirectional Optimality Theory. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 11 (4):427-451.
Mauro Maldonato (2007). Undecidable Decisions: Rationality Limits and Decision-Making Heuristics. World Futures 63 (1):28 – 37.
Thomas L. Clarke (2005). Sleep is Optimizing. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (1):66-67.
Added to index2012-02-20
Total downloads14 ( #246,417 of 1,792,244 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #282,315 of 1,792,244 )
How can I increase my downloads?