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The Oxford Handbook of Rationality$
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Alfred R. Mele and Piers Rawling

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195145397

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195145399.001.0001

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(p.380) chapter 20 ECONOMIC RATIONALITY
The Oxford Handbook of Rationality

Paul. Weirich (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Weirich examines three competing views entertained by economic theory about the instrumental rationality of decisions: the first says to maximize self-interest, the second to maximize utility, and the third to satisfice, that is, to adopt a satisfactory option. Critics argue that the first view is too narrow, that the second overlooks the benefits of teamwork and planning, and that the third, when carefully formulated, reduces to the second. Weirich defends a refined version of the principle to maximize utility. A broad conception of utility makes it responsive to the motives and benefits critics allege it overlooks. He discusses generalizations of utility theory to extend it to nonquantitative cases and other cases with nonstandard features.

Keywords:   benefit, economics, instrumental rationality, maximization, nonquantitative, planning, satisficing, self-interest, teamwork, utility

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