Journal of Economic Methodology 10 (2):131-156 (2003)

James Garrison
Virginia Tech
This paper poses a Deweyan challenge to both the neoclassical framework of rational choice and models of bounded rationality and deliberation, especially the procedural theory of rationality advanced by Herbert Simon. We demonstrate how modern theories on procedural or instrumental rationality trace their origin to the tradition of British empiricism, especially the philosophy of David Hume. Most theories of action such as Simon's assume actors may control their bodies 'at will.' For Dewey, habits are will; we control them when we identify them and condition them through reflective deliberation. To clarify our Deweyan critique, we use empirical research on consumer's use of mathematical calculation in supermarkets, by Jean Lave, which rejects calculative Turing machine rationality. We argue that a theory that can deal with deliberation regarding incommensurable values better explains economic behavior in the everyday marketplace. Thus, economists would do better to concentrate on social practices in specific contexts and the neurophysiological basis of need and desire
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DOI 10.1080/1350178032000071039
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Love's Knowledge.Martha C. Nussbaum - 1990 - Oxford University Press.

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