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Do animal spirits rely on somatic markers? Keynes in light of neuroscience


  • Michael Lainé

    (LED - Laboratoire d'Economie Dionysien - UP8 - Université Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis)


Thanks to neuroscience, the brain is no longer a black box. It is possible to investigate its basic functioning and see whether its teachings may buttress Keynes's concept of animal spirits. Seven features constitute them: duality of reasoning; automatic analogical assessment; automatic decision; anchorage in emotions; intermediation between body and soul; beyond the rational/irrational dichotomy; and conventional basis. This article aims to compare these features comprising animal spirits with Damasio's "somatic marker hypothesis." It appears that both theories are very much in tune, in that they emphasize analogical induction, the intelligence of emotions, and the automaticity of cognition and action. It may prove useful, as a way to stimulate further research, to enrich and deepen animal spirits thanks to somatic markers.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Lainé, 2014. "Do animal spirits rely on somatic markers? Keynes in light of neuroscience," Post-Print hal-04264919, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-04264919
    DOI: 10.2753/PKE0160-3477360303
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