David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Human Studies 26 (1):41-66 (2003)
This article reexamines the rational choice or economic approach to human studies. Its adherents claim that its extension beyond its original domain to all human behavior can finally lead to integration of the human studies, especially social theory, and thus their elevation from what they see as a chaotic state. Specifically, they propose grounding human studies on the premise that humans are rational egoists or self-interested utility maximizers. Although this premise has been the conceptual foundation of orthodox economic theory, it has been questioned, and even in part discredited in its heterodox versions. This reexamination casts serious doubts on such claims.
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