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  1. Elias L. Khalil (2014). Deciphering Mirror Neurons: Rational Decision Versus Associative Learning. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (2):206-207.
    The rational-decision approach is superior to the associative-learning approach of Cook et al. at explaining why mirror neurons (MNs) fire or do not fire – even when the stimulus is the same. The rational-decision approach is superior because it starts with the analysis of the intention of the organism, i.e., with the identification of the specific objective or goal that the organism is trying to maximize.
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    Elias L. Khalil (2009). Are Stomachs Rational? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (1):91-92.
    Oaksford & Chater (O&C) would need to define rationality if they want to argue that stomachs are not rational. The question of rationality, anyhow, is orthogonal to the debate concerning whether humans use classical deductive logic or probabilistic reasoning.
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  3.  36
    Elias L. Khalil (1990). Beyond Self-Interest and Altruism: A Reconstruction of Adam Smith's Theory of Human Conduct. Economics and Philosophy 6 (2):255.
    I attempt a reconstruction of Adam Smith's view of human nature as explicated in The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Smith's view of human conduct is neither functionalist nor reductionist, but interactionist. The moral autonomy of the individual, conscience, is neither made a function of public approval nor reduced to self-contained impulses of altruism and egoism. Smith does not see human conduct as a blend of independently defined impulses. Rather, conduct is unified, by the underpinning sentiment of sympathy.
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  4.  19
    Elias L. Khalil & Alain Marciano (2010). The Equivalence of Neo-Darwinism and Walrasian Equilibrium: In Defense of Organismus Economicus. Biology and Philosophy 25 (2):229-248.
    Neo-Darwinism is based on the same principles as the Walrasian analysis of equilibrium. This may be surprising for evolutionary economists who resort to neo-Darwinism as a result of their dissatisfaction with Walrasian economics. As it is well-known, the principle of rationality does not play a role in neo-Darwinism. In fact, the whole (neo-)Darwinian agenda became popular exactly because it expunged the idea of rationality from nature, and hence, from equilibrium. It is less known, however, that the rationality principle is also (...)
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  5. Alfred I. Tauber & Elias L. Khalil (1994). Organism and the Origins of Self. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 16 (2):355.
    Alfred I. Tauber (ed.), Organism and the Origins of Self. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1991. xix + 384 pp., US$ 110.00 (US$ 25.00 paperback). This is a fascinating book based on a 1990 symposium at Boston University. It promises to change the way one conceives of the organism. The authors start from different specializations but provide a most tantalizing feast of ideas. Richard Lewontin commences the book with a strange foreword. Lewontin submits that the concern with the "self and (...)
     
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  6.  7
    Elias L. Khalil (2003). The Context Problematic, Behavioral Economics and the Transactional View: An Introduction to 'John Dewey and Economic Theory'. Journal of Economic Methodology 10 (2):107-130.
    Are there empirical anomalies upon which Dewey's theory of action sheds better light than existing neoclassical and heterodox approaches? This introduction answers in the affirmative. They are the set of anomalies highlighted by behavioral economics. These anomalies stress the centrality of context. Neoclassical theorists react to the 'context problematic' by claiming that context, after all, is part of either the constraint set or the preference set. Dewey and his collaborator, Bentley, called such standard rationality theories 'interactional.' On the other hand, (...)
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  7.  3
    Elias L. Khalil (2003). A Transactional View of Entrepreneurship: A Deweyan Approach. Journal of Economic Methodology 10 (2):161-179.
    Neoclassical and Marxian theorists have generally failed to explain entrepreneurship, and for an obvious reason. To apply the calculus of optimization, neoclassical theorists have to treat the set of resources as an object that exists 'initself,' i.e., independent of the acting subject. On the other hand, Marxian theorists, in advocating the labor theory of value, have to treat labor activity as an expression of an abstract ability which can be easily measured across the diverse concrete activities. John Dewey, throughout his (...)
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  8.  23
    Elias L. Khalil (1996). Organism and Organization. Biology and Philosophy 12 (1):119-126.
    Rosen accuses conventional biology of abandoning its main challenge: the understanding of the nature of life. Biologists generally act subservient to physicists, handicapped by the Cartesian metaphor of the organism as machine. This allows biologists to eschew the issue of intentionality and finalism. The machine metaphor assures biologists that they do not need to appeal to laws other than the ones used by physicists. Rosen argues that the machine metaphor affords the reduction of the organism to its constituent parts.
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  9.  25
    Elias L. Khalil (2013). What Determines the Boundary of Civil Society? Hume, Smith and the Justification of European Exploitation of Non-Europeans. Theoria 60 (134):26-49.
    Civil society consists of members obligated to respect each other’s rights and, hence, trade with each other as equals. What determines the boundary, rather than the nature, of civil society? For Adam Smith, the boundary consists of humanity itself because it is determined by identification: humans identify with other humans because of common humanness. While Smith’s theory can explain the emotions associated with justice (jubilance) and injustice (resentment), it provides a mushy ground for the boundary question: Why not extend the (...)
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  10.  34
    Elias L. Khalil (2013). Practical Beliefs Vs. Scientific Beliefs: Two Kinds of Maximization. Theory and Decision 74 (1):107-126.
    Abstract There are two kinds of beliefs. If the ultimate objective is wellbeing (util- ity), the generated beliefs are “practical.” If the ultimate objective is truth, the generated beliefs are “scientific.” This article defends the practical/scientific belief distinction. The proposed distinction has been ignored by standard rational choice theory—as well as by its two major critics, viz., the Tversky/Kahneman program and the Simon/ Gigerenzer program. One ramification of the proposed distinction is clear: agents who make errors with regard to scientific (...)
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  11.  27
    Elias L. Khalil (1997). Economics, Biology, and Naturalism: Three Problems Concerning the Question of Individuality. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 12 (2):185-206.
    The paper examines the ramifications of naturalism with regard to the question of individuality in economics and biology. Economic theory has to deal with whether households, firms, and states are individuals or are mere entities such as clubs, networks, and coalitions. Biological theory has to deal with the same question with regard to cells, organisms, family packs, and colonies. To wit, the question of individuality in both disciplines involves three separate problems: the metaphysical, phenomenist, and ontological. The metaphysical problem is (...)
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  12.  54
    Elias L. Khalil (2002). Is the Prisoner's Dilemma Metaphor Suitable for Altruism? Distinguishing Self-Control and Commitment From Altruism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):264-265.
    Rachlin basically marshals three reasons behind his unconventional claim that altruism is a subcategory of self-control and that, hence, the prisoner's dilemma is the appropriate metaphor of altruism. I do not find any of the three reasons convincing. Therefore, the prisoner's dilemma metaphor is unsuitable for explaining altruism.
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  13.  53
    Elias L. Khalil (2001). Similarity Versus Familiarity: When Empathy Becomes Selfish. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (1):41-41.
    Preston & de Waal conflate familiarity with similarity in their attempt to account for empathy. If distinguished, we may have at hand two different kinds of empathy: egocentric empathy and empathy proper.
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  14.  5
    Elias L. Khalil (2015). The Fellow-Feeling Paradox: Hume, Smith and the Moral Order. Philosophy 90 (4):653-678.
    Hume and Smith advance different answers to the question of whether sympathy can ever be the foundation of the moral order. They hold contradictory views of sympathy, called here ‘the Fellow-Feeling Paradox’. For Hume, fellow-feeling tends to reverberate in society, leading to the socialization of the individual and even mob (collective) psychology. Hence, sympathy cannot be the foundation of the moral order. In contrast, for Smith, fellow-feeling develops into critical judgment of the emotions/actions, leading to individual moral autonomy even self-command. (...)
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  15.  6
    Elias L. Khalil (1990). Rationality and Social Labor in Marx. Critical Review 4 (1-2):239-265.
    Textual exegesis is used to show that Marx's concept of social labor is transhistorical, referring to a collective activity of humans as a species. The collective nature of labor is suspended in capitalist production because of the anarchic character of market relations. But the suspension is skin deep: The sociality of labor asserts itself in a mediated manner through the alienated empowerment of goods with value. This is commodity fetishism, which vanishes when relations of production become actually collective?matching the transhistorical (...)
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  16.  22
    Elias L. Khalil (2010). Are Plants Rational? Biological Theory 5 (1):53-66.
    Organisms change their shape and behavior during ontogenesis in response to incentives—what biologists call “phenotypic plasticity” or what is called here more specifically “behavioral plasticity.” Such plasticity is usually in the direction of enhancing welfare or fitness. In light of basic concepts in economics, such behavioral plasticity is nothing but rationality. Such rationality is not limited to organisms with neural systems. It also characterizes brainless organisms such as plants, fungi, and unicellular organisms. The gist of the article is the distinction (...)
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  17. Francisco J. Varela, Jean-Pierre Dupuy & Elias L. Khalil (1994). Understanding Origins: Contemporary Views on the Origin of Life, Mind and Society. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 16 (2):355.
     
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  18.  6
    Elias L. Khalil (2013). Two Kinds of Theory-Laden Cognitive Processes: Distinguishing Intransigence From Dogmatism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (3):218-219.
    The brain is involved in theory-laden cognitive processes. But there are two different theory-laden processes. In cases where the theory is based on facts, more facts can either falsify or confirm a theory. In cases where the theory is about the choice of a benchmark or a standard, more facts can only make a theory either more or less warranted. Clark offers a review of a view of the brain where the brain pro- cesses input information in a way that (...)
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  19.  6
    Elias L. Khalil (1995). Individual Separateness or Universal Scheme? Human Nature 6 (1):91-94.
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  20.  6
    Elias L. Khalil (1994). Kenneth E. Boulding, 1910–1993. Journal of Economic Methodology 1 (1):161-166.
  21.  5
    Elias L. Khalil (2011). The Weightless Hat: Is Self-Deception Optimal? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (1):30-31.
    There are problems with the thesis of von Hippel & Trivers (VH&T): (1) It entails that self-deception arises from interpersonal deception which is not necessarily so; and (3) it entails that interpersonal deception is optimum – which may not be true.
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  22.  8
    Elias L. Khalil (2008). Equilibrium Without Rationality:Microeconomics: Behavior, Institutions and Evolution, Samuel Bowles . Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003. (595 Pp; US $29.95 Pbk; ISBN 9780691126388). [REVIEW] Biological Theory 3 (1):90-92.
  23.  4
    Elias L. Khalil (2007). Animal Innovation and Rationality: Distinguishing Productivity From Efficiency. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 30 (4):414-415.
    For the authors of the target article, innovations are underdetermined by environmental inducement underdetermination.sourceinducement” that makes the organism adopt it in the future.
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  24.  4
    Elias L. Khalil (2008). Are Addictions “Biases and Errors” in the Rational Decision Process? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (4):449-450.
    Redish et al. view addictions as errors arising from the weak access points of the system of decision-making. They do not analytically distinguish between addictions, on the one hand, and errors highlighted by behavioural decision theory, such as over-confidence, representativeness heuristics, conjunction fallacy, and so on, on the other. Redish et al.'s decision-making framework may not be comprehensive enough to capture addictions.
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  25.  1
    Elias L. Khalil (2013). Disentangling the Order Effect From the Context Effect: Analogies, Homologies, and Quantum Probability. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (3):293 - 294.
    Although the quantum probability (QP) can be useful to model the context effect, it is not relevant to the order effect, conjunction fallacy, and other related biases. Although the issue of potentiality, which is the intuition behind QP, is involved in the context effect, it is not involved in the other biases.
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  26. Elias L. Khalil (2008). Action, Entrepreneurship and Evolution.”. In Weber (ed.), Handbook of Whiteheadian Process Thought. De Gruyter 145-160.
    This chapter offers a subtle but subversive thesis: There is no difference between everyday action and creativity and, consequently, evolution. This thesis is subversive. It goes against the dominant dogmas in economics (i.e., neoclassical theory) and evolutionary biology (i.e., neo-Darwinian theory). Both dogmas draw a radical divide between action and evolution. For neo-Darwinian theory, action is phenotype ultimately determined by genotype—while the genotype evolves according to another mechanism. For neoclassical economics, action is determined by rational calculation of the efficient allocation (...)
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  27. Elias L. Khalil & Kenneth Ewart Boulding (1996). Evolution, Order and Complexity.
     
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