In Uskali Mäki, Ioannis Votsis, Stéphanie Ruphy & Gerhard Schurz (eds.), Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Science: EPSA13 Helsinki. Heidelberg: Springer. pp. 99-109 (2015)

Christine Tiefensee
Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
Within the social sciences, much controversy exists about which status should be ascribed to the rationality assumption that forms the core of rational choice theories. Whilst realists argue that the rationality assumption is an empirical claim which describes real processes that cause individual action, instrumentalists maintain that it amounts to nothing more than an analytically set axiom or ‘as if’ hypothesis which helps in the generation of accurate predictions. In this paper, I argue that this realist-instrumentalist debate about rational choice theory can be overcome once it is realised that the rationality assumption is neither an empirical description nor an ‘as if’ hypothesis, but a normative claim.
Keywords Rational Choice Theory  Realism  Instrumentalism  Normativity  Davidson
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References found in this work BETA

Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind.Wilfrid S. Sellars - 1956 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1:253-329.
Wise Choices, Apt Feelings.Allan Gibbard - 1990 - Ethics 102 (2):342-356.

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Rationalität und Normativität.Christine Tiefensee & Johannes Marx - 2015 - Zeitschrift Für Politische Theorie 6:19-37.

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