Approximating Prudence: Aristotelian Practical Wisdom and Economic Models of Choice

Hardcover | August 7, 2012

byAndrew M. Yuengert

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The economic model of choice is a powerful tool, applied widely in economic analysis. Approximating Prudence outlines the limits of the economic model by comparing it to a more comprehensive account of reasoned choice: the account of practical wisdom in the Aristotelian tradition. Although certain aspects of Aristotelian practical wisdom can be captured by the quantitative optimization models of economics, other aspects will always elude attempts to model them. The realization that there are limits to what economic models can do puts into perspective the place of economics in the larger conversation about markets, society, and politics.

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The economic model of choice is a powerful tool, applied widely in economic analysis. Approximating Prudence outlines the limits of the economic model by comparing it to a more comprehensive account of reasoned choice: the account of practical wisdom in the Aristotelian tradition. Although certain aspects of Aristotelian practical wisd...

Andrew Yuengert is a professor of Economics at Seaver College, Pepperdine University. He has made research contributions in several fields: economic philosophy, Catholic Social Teaching, the empirical study of religion, labor economics, and finance. He was recently editor of the journal Faith & Economics. He is the author of two previ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:246 pages, 8.84 × 5.72 × 0.73 inPublished:August 7, 2012Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230120911

ISBN - 13:9780230120914

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Practical Wisdom and Economic Models of Choice * Chapter 2 - Is There Anything Economics Cannot Do? The Need for a Background Account * Chapter 3 - Practical Wisdom, or Thinking about What to Do * Chapter 4 - Objective Functions and the Goals of Human Action * Chapter 5 - Contingency and Uncertainty * Chapter 6 - Modeling Virtue * Chapter 7 - The Synthetic Nature of Choice * Chapter 8 - The Unformulability of Practical wisdom * Chapter 9 - Conclusions

Editorial Reviews

"Yuengert's wide ranging and excellent book, Approximating Prudence, will stimulate further thinking among economists working to formalise Aristotelian approaches. It is a helpful book for philosophers and theologians looking to understand the approach of economists. Working economists will become wiser economists from Yuengert's careful drawing of the limits of economic analysis." - Paul Oslington, professor of Economics, Australian Catholic University"Yuengert provides a much-needed assessment of both the proper role and the limits of economic analysis in explaining social phenomena. This book is a welcome addition to the literature on the interface of economics and other disciplines." - Albino Barrera, professor of Economics and Theology, Providence College"Andrew Yuengert explains to economists why their models will never be able to capture the complexity of human decision making – and to humanists how recent developments in economics have moved those models significantly closer to that unattainable goal. Deeply appreciative of both worlds, he speaks persuasively to each group in its own language. A brilliant contribution toward bridging a very old chasm of misunderstanding." - Daniel Finn, William E. and Virginia Clemens Professor of Economics & the Liberal Arts, College of Saint Benedict, Saint John's University"In his exciting new volume, Approximating Prudence: Aristotelian Practical Wisdom and Economics Models of Choice, Andrew Yuengert manages the rare feat of taking both economics and Aristotelian philosophy seriously. By embedding economic models of choice in the broader Aristotelian account of practical reason, Yuengert offers an illuminating account of what choice theory can and cannot do. Yuengert's tour de force is an exemplar of the creative and careful scholarship that truly valuable interdisciplinary research requires, and should be of particular value to economists seeking to understand how their discipline intersects with larger philosophical concerns." - Mary Hirschfeld, assistant Professor of Economics and Theology, Villanova University