Multiple utilities and weakness of will: A kantian perspective
This paper argues that a Kantian model of decision-making, one that incorporates moral duties alongside standard preferences and constraints, can account for the complexities of actual ethical choice within a model with a single (constrained) preference ranking. Multiple utilities are required only to explain the failure to make appropriate decisions. Such occasions, often referred to as cases of weakness of will or akrasia, are easily explained with this approach, which is also consistent with the recent work of philosopher John Searle on action theory and rational choice. More generally, this paper highlights the need for discussion of the will in economics.
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Volume (Year): 64 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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References listed on IDEAS
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- White, Mark D., 2004. "Can homo economicus follow Kant's categorical imperative?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 89-106, March.
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- Schelling, Thomas C, 1984. "Self-Command in Practice, in Policy, and in a Theory of Rational Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 1-11, May.
- John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309-309.
- Thaler, Richard H & Shefrin, H M, 1981.
"An Economic Theory of Self-Control,"
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- Dowell, Richard S & Goldfarb, Robert S & Griffith, William B, 1998. "Economic Man as a Moral Individual," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(4), pages 645-653, October.
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