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The Polytheistic Condition: Incomparable Assets and Special Currency

  • Matteo Aria

    ()

  • Nicolò Bellanca

    ()

    (Università degli Studi di Firenze)

In 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.

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Paper 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.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:frz:wpaper:wp2012_20.rdf
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  1. 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.
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  12. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521761734 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Cass R. Sunstein & Richard H. Thaler, 2003. "Libertarian paternalism is not an oxymoron," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 48(Jun).
  14. 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.
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