Economic Rationality and Practical Reason

9789048148288_p0_v3_s260x420ISBN: 978-0792344933

Springer 1997

This book aims at giving a clear account of the central characteristics and problems of the orthodox notion of consequentialist economic rationality and at showing how the formal core of classical decision theory can be defended against objections and incorporated into a coherentist notion of practical reason.
The `orthodox’ paradigm of economic rationality is shown to be defective in several respects. The author maintains that there are many situations in which an agent makes a decision which a theory of rationality should be able to reconstruct as rational, but in which a reconstruction in terms of the standard consequentialist interpretation of economic rationality seems to be inadequate.
The core of the classical theory of economic rationality is coherentist and does not necessarily call for a consequentialist interpretation. Therefore, the formal coherence axioms are compatible with a theory of practical rationality which accounts for good reasons for actions which cannot be incorporated into the consequentialist account of economic rationality.

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