70 found
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  1.  6
    The Methodology of Experimental Economics.Francesco Guala - 2005 - Cambridge University Press.
    The experimental approach in economics is a driving force behind some of the most exciting developments in the field. The 'experimental revolution' was based on a series of bold philosophical premises which have remained until now mostly unexplored. This book provides the first comprehensive analysis and critical discussion of the methodology of experimental economics, written by a philosopher of science with expertise in the field. It outlines the fundamental principles of experimental inference in order to investigate their power, scope and (...)
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  2.  2
    Understanding Institutions: The Science and Philosophy of Living Together.Francesco Guala - 2016 - Princeton: Princeton University Press.
    Understanding Institutions proposes a new unified theory of social institutions that combines the best insights of philosophers and social scientists who have written on this topic. Francesco Guala presents a theory that combines the features of three influential views of institutions: as equilibria of strategic games, as regulative rules, and as constitutive rules. -/- Guala explains key institutions like money, private property, and marriage, and develops a much-needed unification of equilibrium- and rules-based approaches. Although he uses game theory concepts, the (...)
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  3.  30
    Preferences: Neither Behavioural nor Mental.Francesco Guala - 2019 - Economics and Philosophy 35 (3):383-401.
    Recent debates on the nature of preferences in economics have typically assumed that they are to be interpreted either as behavioural regularities or as mental states. In this paper I challenge this dichotomy and argue that neither interpretation is consistent with scientific practice in choice theory and behavioural economics. Preferences are belief-dependent dispositions with a multiply realizable causal basis, which explains why economists are reluctant to make a commitment about their interpretation.
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  4. Reciprocity: Weak or Strong? What Punishment Experiments Do Demonstrate.Francesco Guala - 2012 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):1-15.
    Strong Reciprocity theorists claim that cooperation in social dilemma games can be sustained by costly punishment mechanisms that eliminate incentives to free ride, even in one-shot and finitely repeated games. There is little doubt that costly punishment raises cooperation in laboratory conditions. Its efficacy in the field however is controversial. I distinguish two interpretations of experimental results, and show that the wide interpretation endorsed by Strong Reciprocity theorists is unsupported by ethnographic evidence on decentralised punishment and by historical evidence on (...)
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  5. A Unified Social Ontology.Francesco Guala & Frank Hindriks - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (259):177-201.
    Current debates in social ontology are dominated by approaches that view institutions either as rules or as equilibria of strategic games. We argue that these two approaches can be unified within an encompassing theory based on the notion of correlated equilibrium. We show that in a correlated equilibrium each player follows a regulative rule of the form ‘if X then do Y’. We then criticize Searle's claim that constitutive rules of the form ‘X counts as Y in C’ are fundamental (...)
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  6.  44
    The Functions of Institutions: Etiology and Teleology.Frank Hindriks & Francesco Guala - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2027-2043.
    Institutions generate cooperative benefits that explain why they exist and persist. Therefore, their etiological function is to promote cooperation. The function of a particular institution, such as money or traffic regulations, is to solve one or more cooperation problems. We go on to argue that the teleological function of institutions is to secure values by means of norms. Values can also be used to redesign an institution and to promote social change. We argue, however, that an adequate theory of institutions (...)
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  7.  81
    Experimental Localism and External Validity.Francesco Guala - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1195-1205.
    Experimental “localism” stresses the importance of context‐specific knowledge, and the limitations of universal theories in science. I illustrate Latour's radical approach to localism and show that it has some unpalatable consequences, in particular the suggestion that problems of external validity (or how to generalize experimental results to nonlaboratory circumstances) cannot be solved. In the last part of the paper I try to sketch a solution to the problem of external validity by extending Mayo's error‐probabilistic approach.
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  8.  89
    A Political Justification of Nudging.Francesco Guala & Luigi Mittone - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (3):385-395.
    Thaler and Sunstein justify nudge policies from welfaristic premises: nudges are acceptable because they benefit the individuals who are nudged. A tacit assumption behind this strategy is that we can identify the true preferences of decision-makers. We argue that this assumption is often unwarranted, and that as a consequence nudge policies must be justified in a different way. A possible strategy is to abandon welfarism and endorse genuine paternalism. Another one is to argue that the biases of decision that choice (...)
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  9.  54
    Extrapolation, Analogy, and Comparative Process Tracing.Francesco Guala - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):1070-1082.
    Comparative process tracing is the best analysis of extrapolation inferences in the philosophical and scientific literature so far. In this essay I examine some similarities and differences between comparative process tracing and former attempts to capture the logic of extrapolation, such as the analogical approach. I show that these accounts are not different in spirit, although comparative process tracing supersedes previous proposals in terms of analytical detail. I also examine some qualms about the possibility of drawing extrapolation inferences in the (...)
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  10. Has Game Theory Been Refuted?Francesco Guala - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (5):239-263.
    The answer in a nutshell is: Yes, five years ago, but nobody has noticed. Nobody noticed because the majority of social scientists subscribe to one of the following views: (1) the ‘anomalous’ behaviour observed in standard prisoner’s dilemma or ultimatum game experiments has refuted standard game theory a long time ago; (2) game theory is flexible enough to accommodate any observed choices by ‘refining’ players’ preferences; or (3) it is just a piece of pure mathematics (a tautology). None of these (...)
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  11. The Philosophy of Social Science: Metaphysical and Empirical.Francesco Guala - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (6):954-980.
    opinionated survey paper to be published in the Blackwell’s Philosophy Compass.
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  12. The Normativity of Lewis Conventions.Francesco Guala - 2013 - Synthese 190 (15):3107-3122.
    David Lewis famously proposed to model conventions as solutions to coordination games, where equilibrium selection is driven by precedence, or the history of play. A characteristic feature of Lewis Conventions is that they are intrinsically non-normative. Some philosophers have argued that for this reason they miss a crucial aspect of our folk notion of convention. It is doubtful however that Lewis was merely analysing a folk concept. I illustrate how his theory can (and must) be assessed using empirical data, and (...)
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  13.  44
    Building Economic Machines: The FCC Auctions.Francesco Guala - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 32 (3):453-477.
    The auctions of the Federal Communication Commission, designed in 1994 to sell spectrum licences, are one of the few widely acclaimed and copied cases of economic engineering to date. This paper includes a detailed narrative of the process of designing, testing and implementing the FCC auctions, focusing in particular on the role played by game theoretical modelling and laboratory experimentation. Some general remarks about the scope, interpretation and use of rational choice models open and conclude the paper.
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  14.  48
    Paradigmatic Experiments: The Ultimatum Game From Testing to Measurement Device.Francesco Guala - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):658-669.
    The Ultimatum Game is one of the most successful experimental designs in the history of the social sciences. In this article I try to explain this success—what makes it a “paradigmatic experiment”—stressing in particular its versatility. Despite the intentions of its inventors, the Ultimatum Game was never a good design to test economic theory, and it is now mostly used as a heuristic tool for the observation of nonstandard preferences or as a “social thermometer” for the observation of culture‐specific norms. (...)
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  15.  16
    The Problem of External Validity (or “Parallelism”) in Experimental Economics.Francesco Guala - 1999 - Social Science Information 38 (4):555-573.
    This article is in three parts: in the first section, a real case of laboratory experimentation in economics illustrates what experimentalists do in order to test the external validity of their results. Then, it is shown that such a practice presupposes a specific conception of the causal relations economists are seeking. Some general remarks about the notions of external validity and parallelism are provided in conclusion.
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  16.  30
    The Logic of Normative Falsification: Rationality and Experiments in Decision Theory.Francesco Guala - 2000 - Journal of Economic Methodology 7 (1):59-93.
    The paper investigates how normative considerations influenced the development of the theory of individual decision-making under risk. In the first part, the debate between Maurice Allais and the 'Neo-Bernoullians' (supporting the Expected Utility model) is reconstructed, in order to show that a controversy on the definition of rational decision and on the methodology of normative justification played a crucial role in legitimizing the Allais-paradox as genuinely refuting evidence. In the second part, it is shown how informal notions of rationality were (...)
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  17. Experiments as Mediators in the Non-Laboratory Sciences.Francesco Guala - 1998 - Philosophica 62.
     
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  18.  65
    Experiments in Economics: External Validity and the Robustness of Phenomena.Francesco Guala & Luigi Mittone - 2005 - Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (4):495-515.
    External validity is the problem of generalizing results from laboratory to non?laboratory conditions. In this paper we review various ways in which the problem can be tackled, depending on the kind of experiment one is doing. Using a concrete example, we highlight in particular the distinction between external validity and robustness, and point out that many experiments are not aimed at a well?specified real?world target but rather contribute to a ?library of robust phenomena?, a body of experimental knowledge to be (...)
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  19.  29
    Artificiality, Reactivity, and Demand Effects in Experimental Economics.Maria Jimenez-Buedo & Francesco Guala - 2016 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 46 (1):3-23.
    A series of recent debates in experimental economics have associated demand effects with the artificiality of the experimental setting and have linked it to the problem of external validity. In this paper, we argue that these associations can be misleading, partly because of the ambiguity with which “artificiality” has been defined, but also because demand effects and external validity are related in complex ways. We argue that artificiality may be directly as well as inversely correlated with demand effects. We also (...)
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  20.  33
    Artefacts in Experimental Economics: Preference Reversals and the Becker–Degroot–Marschak Mechanism.Francesco Guala - 2000 - Economics and Philosophy 16 (1):47-75.
    Controversies in economics often fizzle out unresolved. One reason is that, despite their professed empiricism, economists find it hard to agree on the interpretation of the relevant empirical evidence. In this paper I will present an example of a controversial issue first raised and then solved by recourse to laboratory experimentation. A major theme of this paper, then, concerns the methodological advantages of controlled experiments. The second theme is the nature of experimental artefacts and of the methods devised to detect (...)
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  21.  15
    Social Norms, Expectations and Sanctions.Francesco Guala - 2019 - Analyse & Kritik 41 (2):375-382.
    Hindriks’ paper raises two issues: one is formal and concerns the notion of ‘cost’ in rational choice accounts of norms; the other is substantial and concerns the role of expectations in the modification of payoffs. In this commentary I express some doubts and worries especially about the latter: What’s so special with shared expectations? Why do they induce compliance with norms, if transgression is not associated with sanctions?
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  22.  22
    Critical Notice.Francesco Guala - 2006 - Economics and Philosophy 22 (3):429-439.
    The title of this book is rather misleading. “Birth of neoliberal governmentality,” or something like that, would have been more faithful to its contents. In Foucault's vocabulary, “biopolitics” is the “rationalisation” of “governmentality” : it's the theory, in other words, as opposed to the art of managing people. The mismatch between title and content is easily explained: the general theme of the courses at the Collège de France had to be announced at the beginning of each academic year. It is (...)
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  23.  36
    Naissance de la biopolitique: Cours au Collège de France, 1978–1979, Michel Foucault. Edited by Michel Senellart. Seuil/Gallimard, 2004, xi + 355 pages. [REVIEW]Francesco Guala - 2006 - Economics and Philosophy 22 (3):429.
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  24.  44
    Précis of Understanding Institutions.Francesco Guala - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (6):539-549.
    Understanding Institutions offers a theory that is able to unify the two dominant approaches in the scientific and philosophical literature on institutions. Moreover, using the ‘rules-in-equilibrium’ theory, it tackles several ancient puzzles in the philosophy of social science.
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  25.  24
    Replies to Critics.Francesco Guala - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (6):630-645.
    I answer the questions raised by commentators, and clarify what Understanding Institutions tried to achieve.
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  26.  11
    The Philosophy of Social Science Reader.Francesco Guala & Daniel Steel (eds.) - 2010 - Routledge.
    _The Philosophy of Social Science Reader_ is an outstanding, comprehensive and up-to-date collection of key readings in the philosophy of social science, covering the essential issues, problems and debates in this important interdisciplinary area. Each section is carefully introduced by the editors, and the readings placed in context. The anthology is organized into seven clear parts: Values and Social Science Causal Inference and Explanation Interpretation Rationality and Choice Individualism Norms Cultural Evolution. Featuring the work of influential philosophers and social scientists (...)
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  27. Methodological Issues in Experimental Design and Interpretation.Francesco Guala - 2009 - In Harold Kincaid & Don Ross (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Economics. Oxford University Press. pp. 280--281.
     
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  28.  2
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences: Naturalism and Anti-Naturalism in the Philosophy of Social Science.Francesco Guala - 2016 - In Paul Humphreys (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 43-64.
    Naturalism is still facing a strong opposition in the philosophy of social science from influential scholars who argue that philosophical analysis must be autonomous from scientific investigation. The opposition exploits philosophers’ traditional diffidence toward social science and fuels the ambition to provide new foundations for social research. A classic anti-naturalist strategy is to identify a feature of social reality that prevents scientific explanation and prediction. An all-time favorite is the dependence of social phenomena on human representation. This article examines two (...)
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  29.  4
    Rescuing Ontological Individualism.Francesco Guala - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-35.
    Standard defences of ontological individualism are challenged by arguments that exploit the dependence of social facts on material facts – i.e. facts that are not about human individuals. In this paper I discuss Brian Epstein’s “materialism” in The Ant Trap: granting Epstein’s strict definition of individualism, I show that his arguments depend crucially on a generous conception of social properties and social facts. Individualists however are only committed to the claim that projectible properties are individualistically realized, and materialists have not (...)
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  30. Experimentation in Economics.Francesco Guala - manuscript
    3.1 Experiments and causal analysis 3.2 The severity approach 3.3 Objectivist vs. Subjectivist approaches 3.4 “Low” vs. “high-level” hypothesis testing 3.5 Novelty and construct independence 4. External validity..
     
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  31.  23
    Economics in the Lab: Completeness Vs. Testability.Francesco Guala - 2005 - Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (2):185-196.
    Two important arguments in the methodological literature on experimental economics rely on the specification of a domain for economic theory. The first one is used by some experimenters in their skirmishes with economic theorists, and moves from the assumption that theories have (or ought to have) their domain of application written in their assumptions. The other one is used to play down the relevance of certain unwelcome experimental results, and moves from the symmetric assumption that the domain of economic theory (...)
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  32.  21
    Money as an Institution and Money as an Object.Francesco Guala - 2021 - Journal of Social Ontology 6 (2):265-279.
    The folk conception of money as an object is not a promising starting point to develop general, explanatory metaphysical accounts of the social world. A theory of institutions as rules in equilibrium is more consistent with scientific theories of money, is able to shed light on the folk view, and side-steps some unnecessary puzzles.
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  33. The Restorative Logic of Punishment: Another Argument in Favor of Weak Selection.Nicolas Baumard & Francesco Guala - 2012 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):17.
    Strong reciprocity theorists claim that punishment has evolved to promote the good of the group and to deter cheating. By contrast, weak reciprocity suggests that punishment aims to restore justice (i.e., reciprocity) between the criminal and his victim. Experimental evidences as well as field observations suggest that humans punish criminals to restore fairness rather than to support group cooperation.
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  34.  53
    Proximate and Ultimate Causes of Punishment and Strong Reciprocity.Pat Barclay & Francesco Guala - 2012 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):16.
    While admirable, Guala's discussion of reciprocity suffers from a confusion between proximate causes (psychological mechanisms triggering behaviour) and ultimate causes (evolved function of those psychological mechanisms). Because much work on commits this error, I clarify the difference between proximate and ultimate causes of cooperation and punishment. I also caution against hasty rejections of of experimental evidence.
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  35.  9
    On Letting Serious Crises Go to Waste.Francesco Guala - 2021 - Journal of Economic Methodology 28 (1):40-45.
    Although the philosophy of economics has thrived during periods of crisis, it is by no means clear that it will continue to do so. Have philosophers of economics wasted important opportunities duri...
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  36.  79
    Are There Lewis Conventions?Francesco Guala - 2008
    David Lewis famously proposed to model conventions as solutions to coordination games, where equilibrium selection is driven by precedence, or the history of play. A characteristic feature of Lewis Conventions is that they are intrinsically nonnormative. Some philosophers have argued that for this reason they miss a crucial aspect of our folk notion of convention. It is doubtful however that Lewis was merely analysing a folk concept. I illustrate how his theory can (and must) be assessed using empirical data, and (...)
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  37.  30
    Esistono le convenzioni di Lewis?Francesco Guala - 2009 - Rivista di Estetica 41:141-159.
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  38.  8
    Review of Thomas Piketty’s Capital and Ideology. Translated by Arthur Goldhammer. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2020, 1093 Pp. [REVIEW]Francesco Guala - 2021 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 13 (2).
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  39.  53
    Towards a Unified Theory of Reciprocity.Alejandro Rosas & Francesco Guala - 2012 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):36.
    In a unified theory of human reciprocity, the strong and weak forms are similar because neither is biologically altruistic and both require normative motivation to support cooperation. However, strong reciprocity is necessary to support cooperation in public goods games. It involves inflicting costs on defectors; and though the costs for punishers are recouped, recouping costs requires complex institutions that would not have emerged if weak reciprocity had been enough.
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  40.  40
    Strong Reciprocity is Real, but There is No Evidence That Uncoordinated Costly Punishment Sustains Cooperation in the Wild.Francesco Guala - 2012 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):45-59.
    I argue in my target article that field evidence does not support the costly punishment hypothesis. Some commentators object to my reading of the evidence, while others agree that evidence in favour of costly punishment is scant. Most importantly, no rigorous measurement of cost-benefit ratios in the field has been attempted so far. This lack of evidence does not rule out costly punishment as a cause of human cooperation, but it does pre-empt some overconfident claims made in the past. Other (...)
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  41.  19
    Review of Cristina Bicchieri's Norms in the Wild: How to Diagnose, Measure, and Change Social Norms. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, Xviii + 239 Pp. [REVIEW]Francesco Guala - 2017 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 10 (1):101-111.
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  42. Economic Experiments as Mediators.Francesco Guala & London School of Economics and Political Science - 1998 - Lse Centre for Philosophy of Natural & Social Science.
  43. Esperimenti paradigmatici: il gioco dell'ultimatum.Francesco Guala - 2009 - Humana Mente 3 (10).
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  44.  25
    SYMPOSIUM IN MEMORY OF G. A. COHEN : Symposium in Memory of G. A. Cohen.Francesco Guala - 2013 - Economics and Philosophy 29 (1):1-1.
    Gerald Allen Cohen was one of the most influential political philosophers of the latter half of the twentieth century. When he died in 2009 Cohen left behind not only a short book and various unpublished papers but an intellectual legacy that will remain alive for many years. Economics and Philosophy initially planned to organize a review symposium devoted to Cohen's posthumous publications. However, the reviews became articles and the original project turned into a larger symposium in memory of Cohen. The (...)
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  45. Experimental Economics, History Of.Francesco Guala - manuscript
    This is a slightly longer version of an entry prepared for the 2nd edition of The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, edited by Steven Durlauf and Lawrence Blume (Palgrave-Macmillan, forthcoming). Since the New Palgrave does not include acknowledgments, I should use this chance to thank Roger Backhouse, Philippe Fontaine, Daniel Kahneman, Kyu Sang Lee, Ivan Moscati, and Vernon Smith for their help and suggestions in preparing this paper.
     
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  46.  24
    Tra Paradigmi E Rivoluzioni: Thomas Kuhn. (Biblioteca Di Studi Filosofici. [REVIEW]Francesco Guala - 2002 - Isis 93:358-359.
    Thomas Kuhn was not only the greatest historian of science but also one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century. Faced with such a significant character, Giuseppe Giordano has decided to focus on Kuhn “the philosopher,” touching on the historian only indirectly. The book is roughly divided into two parts. The first one is devoted to a reconstruction of the genesis of Kuhn's most important ideas, focusing in particular on the essay “The Essential Tension” and on The Structure (...)
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  47.  54
    Fact and Fiction in Economics: Models, Realism and Social Construction, Edited by Uskali MÄKI. Cambridge University Press, 2002, VII + 384 Pages. [REVIEW]Francesco Guala - 2004 - Economics and Philosophy 20 (1):217-223.
  48.  56
    Cristina Bicchieri • the Grammar of Society: The Nature and Dynamics of Social Norms.Francesco Guala - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (3):613-618.
  49.  36
    Culture: The Missing Piece in Theories of Weak and Strong Reciprocity.Dwight Read & Francesco Guala - 2012 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):35.
    Guala does not go far enough in his critique of the assumption that human decisions about sharing made in the context of experimental game conditions accurately reflect decision-making under real conditions. Sharing of hunted animals is constrained by cultural rules and is not as assumed in models of weak and strong reciprocity. Missing in these models is the cultural basis of sharing that makes it a group property rather than an individual one.
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  50.  6
    Theory, experiments, and explanation in economics.Francesco Guala & Andrea Salanti - 2001 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 3:327-349.
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