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Gigerenzer’s evolutionary arguments against rational choice theory: an assessment

By Armin Schulz


I critically discuss a recent innovation in the debate surrounding the plausibility of rational choice theory (RCT): the appeal to evolutionary theory. Specifically, I assess Gigerenzer and colleagues’ claim that considerations based on natural selection show that, instead of making decisions in a RCT-like way, we rely on ‘simple heuristics’. As I try to make clearer here, though, Gigerenzer and colleagues’ arguments are unconvincing: we lack the needed information about our past to determine whether the premises on which they are built are true—and, hence, we cannot tell whether they, in fact, speak against RCT

Topics: B Philosophy (General)
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1086/662264
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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