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Gigerenzer’s Evolutionary Arguments against Rational Choice Theory: An Assessment
Armin W. Schulz
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 78, No. 5 (December 2011), pp. 1272-1282
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/662264
Page Count: 11
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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.
Copyright 2011 by the Philosophy of Science Association. All rights reserved.