David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Economic Methodology 18 (3):217-231 (2011)
Gul and Pesendorfer provide the best-known and most strident of a set of recent backlashes by economists against methodological revolutions promoted by some behavioural economists and neuroeconomists. Philosophers are likely to read these responses as merely reactionary, especially as their rhetoric goes beyond what their explicit argumentation validly supports. The present paper identifies the accurate insight on Gul and Pesendorfer's part that explains the impact of their philosophically ragged polemic. This centers on importantly different concepts of choice in the psychological and economic literatures. The psychologist's idea of choice descends from a culturally familiar folk construct generally thought to lie within everyone's unreflective personal acquantance. By contrast, the economist's concept of choice refers to abstract sensitivity of behavioral patterns to changes in incentives, typically at the statistical level of populations. It is reasonable to regard this abstract idea as the basic subject matter of economics, just as Gul and Pesendorfer assert. Appreciating the difference between psychological choice and economic choice is crucial for understanding the methodologically schizophrenic character of neuroeconomics. Much of it merely identifies neural correlates of elements from models in the psychology of valuation. However, the neuroeconomics worthy of the name, as constructed by Glimcher and his collaborators, aims to unify economics and neuroscience. It so far fails to do so in an entirely satisfactory way because it falsely assumes that the conception of choice in psychology and economics is already shared.
|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
George Ainslie (2001). Breakdown of Will. Cambridge University Press.
Paul M. Churchland (1979). Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind. Cambridge University Press.
Milton Friedman (1953). Essays in Positive Economics. University of Chicago Press.
Gerd Gigerenzer (1999). Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Michiru Nagatsu (2013). Experimental Philosophy of Economics. Economics and Philosophy 29 (2):263-76.
D. Wade Hands (2013). Foundations of Contemporary Revealed Preference Theory. Erkenntnis 78 (5):1081-1108.
Similar books and articles
N. Emrah Aydinonat (2010). Neuroeconomics: More Than Inspiration, Less Than Revolution. Journal of Economic Methodology 17 (2):159-169.
Roberto Fumagalli (2010). The Disunity of Neuroeconomics: A Methodological Appraisal. Journal of Economic Methodology 17 (2):119-131.
Ariel Rubinstein (2008). Comments on Neuroeconomics. Economics and Philosophy 24 (3):485-494.
Jack Vromen (2010). Where Economics and Neuroscience Might Meet. Journal of Economic Methodology 17 (2):171-183.
Glenn Harrison & Don Ross (2010). The Methodologies of Neuroeconomics. Journal of Economic Methodology 17 (2):185-196.
Anthony Landreth & John Bickle (2008). Neuroeconomics, Neurophysiology and the Common Currency Hypothesis. Economics and Philosophy 24 (3):419-429.
Milan Zafirovski (2000). The Rational Choice Generalization of Neoclassical Economics Reconsidered: Any Theoretical Legitimation for Economic Imperialism? Sociological Theory 18 (3):448-471.
Geert de Soete, Hubert Feger & Karl C. Klauer (eds.) (1989). New Developments in Psychological Choice Modeling. Distributors for the United States and Canada, Elsevier Science Pub..
J. E. R. Staddon (ed.) (1980). Limits to Action, the Allocation of Individual Behavior. Academic Press.
J. S. Biehl (2008). The Insignificance of Choice. In David Chan (ed.), Moral Psychology Today: Essays on Value, Rational Choice, and the Will. Springer. 110--75.
Jason Shepard & Shane Reuter (2012). Neuroscience, Choice, and the Free Will Debate. American Journal of Bioethics - Neuroscience 3 (3):7-11.
Sacha Bourgeois-Gironde (2010). Is Neuroeconomics Doomed by the Reverse Inference Fallacy? Mind and Society 9 (2):229-249.
Roberto Fumagalli (2011). On the Neural Enrichment of Economic Models: Tractability, Trade-Offs and Multiple Levels of Description. Biology and Philosophy 26 (5):617-635.
Geoffrey Brennan & Daniel Moseley (forthcoming). Economics and Ethics. In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
Added to index2012-02-20
Total downloads6 ( #203,263 of 1,100,791 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #289,565 of 1,100,791 )
How can I increase my downloads?