Rationality and Commitment

Hardcover | February 14, 2008

EditorFabienne Peter, Hans Bernhard Schmid

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Rational choice theory forms the core of the economic approach to human behaviour. It is also the most influential philosophical account of practical rationality. Yet there are persistent controversies about the scope of rational choice theory in philosophy and, increasingly, in economics aswell. A leading critic is the philosopher and Nobel Laureate economist Amartya Sen, who put forward a trenchant critique of rational choice theory in his seminal paper 'Rational Fools'. Sen emphasizes the importance of commitment - those aspects of human behavior which dispose individuals toco-operate, follow norms, and identify with others. He argues that rational choice theory cannot accommodate commitment, and demands a more adequate account of rationality.The question of how to account for the rationality of commitment is very much an open issue and, if anything, even more pressing today than when Sen first raised it. In Rationality and Commitment, thirteen leading philosophers and economists discuss Sen's claims and propose their own answers to thequestion of how to account for the rationality of committed action. The volume concludes with a specially-written reply by Sen, in which he responds to his critics and provides a rich commentary on the preceding essays.

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Rational choice theory forms the core of the economic approach to human behaviour. It is also the most influential philosophical account of practical rationality. Yet there are persistent controversies about the scope of rational choice theory in philosophy and, increasingly, in economics aswell. A leading critic is the philosopher and...

Fabienne Peter is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Warwick. Hans Bernhard Schmid is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Basel.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.07 inPublished:February 14, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199287260

ISBN - 13:9780199287260

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Table of Contents

Fabienne Peter and Hans Bernhard Schmid: Rational Fools, Rational Commitments: An IntroductionPart I. Committed Action1. Amartya Sen: Why Exactly is Commitment Important for Rationality?2. Philip Pettit: Construing Sen on Commitment3. Daniel Hausman: Sympathy, Commitment, and PreferencePart II. Rethinking Rationality4. Herlinde Pauer-Studer: Instrumental Rationality Versus Practical Reason: Goals, Ends, and Commitment5. Geoffrey Brennan: The Grammar of Rationality6. Werner Guth and Hartmut Kliemt: The Rationality of Rational Fools: The Role of Commitments, Persons and Agents in Rational Choice Modelling7. Bruno Verbeek: Rational Self-commitment8. Simon Gachter and Christian Thoni: Rationality and Commitment in Voluntary Cooperation: Insights from Experimental EconomicsPart III. Commitment, Intentions, and Identity9. Hans Bernhard Schmid: Beyond Self-goal Choice: Sen's Analysis of Commitment and The Role of Shared Desires10. Raimo Tuomela: Cooperation and the We-perspective11. Margaret Gilbert: Collective Intentions, Commitment and Collective Action Problems12. Robert Sugden and Natalie Gold: Theories of Team Agency13. John Davis: Identity and Commitment: Sen's Conception of the IndividualAmartya Sen: Rational Choice: Discipline, Brand Name and Substance