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Poverty of stimulus and absence of cause: some questions for Felin and Foss




We examine an aspect of the argument of Teppo Felin and Nicolai Foss (‘The Endogenous Origins of Experience, Routines, and Organizational Capabilities: The Poverty of Stimulus’; 2011) where they reject the claim of Geoffrey Hodgson and Thorbjørn Knudsen (‘Darwinism, Causality and the Social Sciences’; 2004) that habits depend crucially on stimuli from the social environment. We argue that while rightly stressing human agency they also create a false dichotomy between agential and environmental factors in the explanation. Felin and Foss create further confusion by hinting – without adequate clarification – at an untenable notion of human agency as an uncaused cause. We raise several questions of clarification for these authors.

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  • Hodgson, Geoffrey M. & Knudsen, Thorbjørn, 2011. "Poverty of stimulus and absence of cause: some questions for Felin and Foss," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 295-298, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jinsec:v:7:y:2011:i:02:p:295-298_00

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    Cited by:

    1. Lazaric, Nathalie, 2011. "Organizational routines and cognition: an introduction to empirical and analytical contributions," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 147-156, June.

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