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Economic Theory and Cognitive Science: Microexplanation

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  • Don Ross

    ()
    (University of Cape Town)

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Abstract

In this study, Don Ross explores the relationship of economics to other branches of behavioral science, asking, in the course of his analysis, under what interpretation economics is a sound empirical science. The book explores the relationships between economic theory and the theoretical foundations of related disciplines that are relevant to the day-to-day work of economics—the cognitive and behavioral sciences. It asks whether the increasingly sophisticated techniques of microeconomic analysis have revealed any deep empirical regularities—whether technical improvement represents improvement in any other sense. Casting Daniel Dennett and Kenneth Binmore as its intellectual heroes, the book proposes a comprehensive model of economic theory that, Ross argues, does not supplant but recovers the core neoclassical insights and counters the caricaturish conception of neoclassicism so derided by advocates of behavioral or evolutionary economics. Because he approaches his topic from the viewpoint of the philosophy of science, Ross devotes one chapter to the philosophical theory and terminology on which his argument depends and another to related philosophical issues. Two chapters provide the theoretical background in economics, one covering developments in neoclassical microeconomics and the other treating behavioral and experimental economics and evolutionary game theory. The three chapters at the heart of the argument then apply theses from the philosophy of cognitive science to foundational problems for economic theory. In these chapters economists will find a genuinely new way of thinking about the implications of cognitive science for economics and cognitive scientists will find in economic behavior a new testing site for the explanations of cognitive science.

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Bibliographic Info

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This book is provided by The MIT Press in its series MIT Press Books with number 0262681684 and published in 2007.

Volume: 1
Edition: 1
ISBN: 0-262-68168-4
Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262681684

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu

Related research

Keywords: economic theory; cognitive science; neoclassicism;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marco Stimolo, 2012. "Individual autonomy in evolutionary game theory: defending Sugden against Ross’s accusation of eliminativism," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 59(1), pages 67-80, March.
  2. Marco Stimolo, 2012. "Multiple-self models in neuroeconomics. A methodological critique," ICER Working Papers 07-2012, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  3. Pierre Gosselin & Aïleen Lotz & Marc Wambst, 2013. "On Apparent Irrational Behaviors : Interacting Structures and the Mind," Working Papers hal-00851309, HAL.
  4. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2008. "Neuroeconomics, naturalism and language," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 108, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  5. John Davis, 2009. "Justifying Human Rights: Economics and the Individual," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 79-89, January.
  6. Dennis C. Mueller, 2006. "Democracy, Rationality and Morality," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2006-15, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  7. Ivan Boldyrev & Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, 2012. "Hegel’s “Objective Spirit” and its Contemporary Relevance for the Philosophy of Economics," HSE Working papers WP BRP 05/HUM/2012, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  8. D.Ross, 2006. "Moral fictionalism, preference moralization and anti-conservatism: why metaethical error theory doesn't imply policy quietism," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2006-16, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  9. Jack Vromen, 2011. "Neuroeconomics: two camps gradually converging: what can economics gain from it?," International Review of Economics, Springer, vol. 58(3), pages 267-285, September.
  10. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2008. "The naturalistic turn in economics: implications for the theory of finance," Frankfurt School - Working Paper Series 105, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
  11. Adam Gifford, 2009. "Rationality and intertemporal choice," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 223-248, December.
  12. Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, 2009. "Diversity, identity, and the indeterminacy of the size of nations," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 15-38, February.
  13. Ivan Boldyrev & Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, 2013. "Hegel’s “Objective Spirit”, extended mind, and the institutional nature of economic action," Mind and Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 12(2), pages 177-202, November.

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