The Polytheistic Condition: Incomparable Assets and Special Currency
AbstractIn this paper we intend to rethink and to reinforce the arguments of the authors who critique the mainstream economic theories and the rational choice theory. We start asserting that a fundamental anthropological condition of the choice is the incomparability of many alternatives and that in this situations the subject chooses without being able to give any adequate comparison judgments. Then we show that these choices, even if not deriving from any rational processes, and not being measurable in terms of utility, can be made for “good reasons”. Such incomparability roots in the polytheistic condition of the subject, in which numerous action criteria coexist conflicting with each other. We also elaborate a conceptual framework investigate the cases in which more institutional logics are combined, as well as the cases in which such logics mingle with each other. In the last part of the paper, rethinking the theories of Richard Thaler and Viviana Zelizer, we try to propose an explanation of the presence and diffusion of “special currencies” in economic life circuits.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa in its series Working Papers - Economics with number wp2012_20.rdf.
Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
incompleteness; commodification; special currency;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
- B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Institutional; Evolutionary
- O10 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2003. "Libertarian Paternalism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 175-179, May.
- Marc Fleurbaey, 2009.
"Beyond GDP: The Quest for a Measure of Social Welfare,"
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1029-75, December.
- M. Fleurbaey., 2012. "Beyond GDP: The Quest for a Measure of Social Welfare," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 3.
- M. Fleurbaey., 2012. "Beyond GDP: The Quest for a Measure of Social Welfare," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 2.
- Bohannan, Paul, 1959. "The Impact of Money on an African Subsistence Economy," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(04), pages 491-503, December.
- Robert Sugden, 2004. "The Opportunity Criterion: Consumer Sovereignty Without the Assumption of Coherent Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1014-1033, September.
- Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
- Juan C Martinez-Coll, 2006. "Caves, Temples, Palaces and Bazaars Building with Jack Hirshleifer’s bricks," Levine's Working Paper Archive 618897000000001048, David K. Levine.
- North,Douglass C. & Wallis,John Joseph & Weingast,Barry R., 2013.
"Violence and Social Orders,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9781107646995, November.
- Sunstein, Cass R. & Thaler, Richard H., 2003.
"Libertarian Paternalism Is Not An Oxymoron,"
- Richard H. Thaler, 2008.
"Mental Accounting and Consumer Choice,"
INFORMS, vol. 27(1), pages 15-25, 01-02.
- Eliaz, Kfir & Ok, Efe A., 2006. "Indifference or indecisiveness? Choice-theoretic foundations of incomplete preferences," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 61-86, July.
- Lee, Dwight R, 1988. "Free Riding and Paid Riding in the Fight against Terrorism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 22-26, May.
- Becker, Gary S, 1993. "Nobel Lecture: The Economic Way of Looking at Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 385-409, June.
- Eric Danan & Anthony Ziegelmeyer, 2004. "Are preferences incomplete? An experimental study using flexible choices," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2004-23, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.
- Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Giorgio Ricchiuti).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.