From Sensory to Positivist Utilitarianism and Back -- The Rehabilitation of Naturalistic Conjectures in the Theory of Demand
AbstractDemand theory grew out of the revision of utilitarianism. The original, Benthamite program – based on a naturalistic, hedonic interpretation of behavior – was replaced by an abstract, subjectivist approach, a motivational mechanics. The implications – expressed exclusively in observable quantities, prices, and incomes – were developed in demand theory. The paper discusses major steps and consequences of the revision together with more recent partial revocations and attempts at reintroducing a naturalistic interpretation. The latter can be enhanced, it is argued, by integrating the (non-utilitarian) theory of wants, a long-standing, but currently much neglected, source of empirical reflections on the motivations of economic behavior.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2005-07.
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
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