Economics and Philosophy 37 (2):163-187 (2021)

Johanna Thoma
London School of Economics
This paper defends revealed preference theory against a pervasive line of criticism, according to which revealed preference methodology relies on appealing to some mental states, in particular an agent’s beliefs, rendering the project incoherent or unmotivated. I argue that all that is established by these arguments is that revealed preference theorists must accept a limited mentalism in their account of the options an agent should be modelled as choosing between. This is consistent both with an essentially behavioural interpretation of preference and with standard revealed preference methodology. And it does not undermine the core motivations of revealed preference theory.
Keywords Revealed Preference Theory  Preference  Expected Utility Theory  Mentalism  Behaviourism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,360
External links

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

The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1954 - Wiley Publications in Statistics.
Decision Theory with a Human Face.Richard Bradley - 2017 - Cambridge University Press.
Betting on Theories.Patrick Maher - 1993 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Functionalism and the Role of Psychology in Economics.Christopher Clarke - 2020 - Journal of Economic Methodology 27 (4):292-310.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Revealed Preference, Belief, and Game Theory.Daniel M. Hausman - 2000 - Economics and Philosophy 16 (1):99-115.
Sympathy, Commitment, and Preference.Daniel M. Hausman - 2005 - Economics and Philosophy 21 (1):33-50.
Revealed Preference and Linear Utility.Stephen A. Clark - 1993 - Theory and Decision 34 (1):21-45.
Samuelson's Operationalist-Descriptivist Thesis.Joshua Cohen - 1995 - Journal of Economic Methodology 2 (1):53-78.
Revealed Preference and Expected Utility.Stephen A. Clark - 2000 - Theory and Decision 49 (2):159-174.


Added to PP index

Total views
26 ( #420,213 of 2,448,821 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
13 ( #49,288 of 2,448,821 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes