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05-04 "Rationality and Humanity: A View from Feminist Economics"

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  • Julie A. Nelson

Abstract

Does Rational Choice Theory (RCT) have something important to contribute to the humanities? Jon Elster and others answer affirmatively, arguing that RCT is a powerful tool that will lend clarity and rigor to work in the humanities just as it (presumably) has in economics. This essay examines the disciplinary values according to which the application of RCT in economics has been judged a “success,” and suggests that this value system does not deserve general approbation. Richness and realism must be retained as important values alongside precision and elegance, if anti-scientific dogmatism and absurd conclusions are to be avoided.

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Paper provided by GDAE, Tufts University in its series GDAE Working Papers with number 05-04.

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Handle: RePEc:dae:daepap:05-04

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  1. Kevin P. Gallagher & Francisco Aguayo & Ana Citlalic González, . "01-07 "Dirt is in the Eye of the Beholder: The World Bank Air Pollution Intensities for Mexico"," GDAE Working Papers 01-07, GDAE, Tufts University.
  2. Joseph Persky, 1995. "The Ethology of Homo Economicus," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 221-231, Spring.
  3. Julie Nelson, 1999. "Of Markets And Martyrs: Is It OK To Pay Well For Care?," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 43-59.
  4. Heyes, Anthony, 2005. "The economics of vocation or 'why is a badly paid nurse a good nurse'?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 561-569, May.
  5. Barsky, Robert & Kilian, Lutz, 2004. "Oil and the Macroeconomy Since the 1970s," CEPR Discussion Papers 4496, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Nancy Folbre & Julie A. Nelson, 2000. "For Love or Money--Or Both?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 123-140, Fall.
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