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Conventionalism, coordination, and mental models: from Poincaré to Simon


  • Rouslan Koumakhov


This article focuses on the conventions that sustain social interaction and argues that they are central to Simon's decision-making theory. Simon clearly identifies two kinds of coordination by convention: behavioral mores that shape human actions, and shared mental models that govern human perceptions. This article argues that Poincaré-Carnap's conventionalism provides powerful support for Simon's theory; it contends that this theory offers a more convincing account of decision and coordination than Lewis' concept of convention. Simon's approach to applying conventionalist logic to social interaction emphasizes the normative role played by mental models in solving coordination problems and considers rationality in terms of both cognitive and moral considerations. By connecting conventional phenomena to social identifications, Simon stresses the resulting complexity of coordination problems

Suggested Citation

  • Rouslan Koumakhov, 2014. "Conventionalism, coordination, and mental models: from Poincaré to Simon," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(3), pages 251-272, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:21:y:2014:i:3:p:251-272 DOI: 10.1080/1350178X.2014.939688

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kurz,Heinz D. & Salvadori,Neri, 1997. "Theory of Production," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521588676, November.
    2. George Soros, 2013. "Fallibility, reflexivity, and the human uncertainty principle," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(4), pages 309-329, December.
    3. Anwar Shaikh, 2010. "Reflexivity, path dependence, and disequilibrium dynamics," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(1), pages 3-16, October.
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