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Economics, Psychology and the Unity of the Decision Sciences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-128
Number of pages103
JournalPHILOSOPHY OF THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
Early online date17 Nov 2015
DOIs
E-pub ahead of print17 Nov 2015
Published1 Mar 2016

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Abstract

In recent years, several authors have reconstructed the relationship between 20th-century economic theory and neuro-psychological research in terms of a three-stage narrative of initial unity, increasing separation, and ongoing reunification. In this article, I draw on major developments in economic theory and neuro-psychological research to provide a descriptive and normative critique of this reconstruction. Moreover, I put forward a reconstruction of the relationship between economics and neuro-psychology that, I claim, better fits both the available empirical evidence and the methodological foundations of these disciplines. In doing so, I argue that recent calls to develop a unified interdisciplinary framework for modeling choice are premised on disputable presuppositions concerning both the domain of economic theory and the relationship between this theory’s axiomatic foundations and empirical findings about the neuro-psychological substrates of choice.

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