Rationalizing the Irrational. The Principle of Relative Maximization from Sociobiology to Economics and Its Implications for Ethics
Starting with the concept of “rational maximizing individual”, a meta-construct with foundational value in economics and, in general, in human sciences, the paper delineates the territory of an ethics of rationality. It does this by taking fulcrum in findings from evolutionary theory, in particular those regarding spiteful behavior. The paper formulates the principle of “differential fitness maximization”, as expression of relative maximization of fitness and derives its consequences, among which, a core set of normative propositions grounding the said ethics. Thus, the paper strengthens the backbone of the Western philosophical tradition which, in essence, always associated ethical conduct with reason and individualism.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2007|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: ESSEC Research Center, BP 105, 95021 Cergy, France|
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