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From Sensory to Positivist Utilitarianism and Back -- The Rehabilitation of Naturalistic Conjectures in the Theory of Demand

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  • U. Witt

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Abstract

Demand 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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File URL: ftp://137.248.191.199/RePEc/esi/discussionpapers/2005-07.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2005-07.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2005-07

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Cited by:
  1. Safarzyńska, Karolina, 2013. "Evolutionary-economic policies for sustainable consumption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 187-195.
  2. Binder, Martin, 2006. "Evolutionary Economics and Moral Relativism - Some Thoughts," MPRA Paper 1484, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Viktor J. Vanberg, 2007. "Rationality, Rule-Following and Emotions: On the Economics of Moral Preferences," Papers on Economics and Evolution, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography 2006-21, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  4. Nelson, Richard & Consoli, Davide, 2010. "An Evolutionary Theory of Household Consumption Behavior," MPRA Paper 20197, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Beaudreau, Bernard C., 2012. "A humanistic theory of economic behavior," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 222-234.

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