A rationality principle

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The Weak Rationality Principle in Economics

Keywords : bounded rationality; self-organization; embodied cognition; decision making.. Services on Demand article. Portuguese pdf Article in xml format Article references How to cite this article Automatic translation. It classifies reasons for acts and assesses their force. For a survey, see Parfit ; Bratman ; Broome ; and Bittner Some arguments that degrees of belief should conform with the probability axioms point out that failure to comply leaves one open to a series of bets that guarantees a loss, that is, a Dutch book.

This observation yields pragmatic reasons for compliance with the axioms. Some theorists hold that the probability axioms require a purely epistemic justification. The principle to maximize expected utility uses probability, and so there are grounds for holding that probability is not purely epistemic and that its axioms do not need a purely epistemic justification. Studies of rationality are multidisciplinary because several fields have a stake in their outcomes. Progress with theories of rationality is broadly rewarding, and many scholars are contributing.


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Is savage's independence axiom a universal rationality principle?

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The Weak Rationality Principle in Economics

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Von Neumann, John, and Oskar Morgenstern. Theory of Games and Economic Behavior. Weirich, Paul. Decision Space: Multidimensional Utility Analysis. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. September 24, Retrieved September 24, from Encyclopedia.

Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia. Philosophers have, at least characteristically, aspired to possess "rationality" but have not thereby sought exactly the same thing.

Portrayed vaguely, rationality is reasonableness, but not all philosophers take rationality as dependent on reasons; nor do all philosophers have a common understanding of reasons or of reasonableness. Some theorists consider rationality to obtain in cases that lack countervailing reasons against what has rationality; they thus countenance rationality as, in effect, a default status. In ordinary parlance, persons can have rationality; so, too, can beliefs, desires, intentions, and actions, among other things.

The rationality appropriate to action is practical, whereas that characteristic of beliefs is, in the language of some philosophers, theoretical.


Many philosophers deem rationality as instrumental, as goal oriented. You have rationality, according to some of these philosophers, in virtue of doing your best, or at least doing what you appropriately think adequate, to achieve your goals.

If ultimate goals are not themselves subject to assessments of rationality, then rationality is purely instrumental, in a manner associated with David Hume 's position. Rationality, according to this view, is a minister without portfolio; it does not require any particular substantive goals of its own but consists rather in the proper pursuit of one's ultimate goals, whatever those goals happen to be.

Many decision-theoretic and economic approaches to rationality are purely instrumentalist. If, however, ultimate goals are susceptible to rational assessment, as an Aristotelian tradition and a Kantian tradition maintain, then rationality is not purely instrumental. The latter two traditions regard certain rather specific kinds of goals, such as human well-being, as essential to rationality. Their substantialist approach to rationality lost considerable influence, however, with the rise of modern decision theory. When relevant goals concern the acquisition of truth and the avoidance of falsehood, so-called epistemic rationality is at issue.

Otherwise, some species of nonepistemic rationality is under consideration. One might individuate species of nonepistemic rationality by the kind of goal at hand; moral, prudential, political, economic, aesthetic, or some other. Some philosophers have invoked rationality "all things considered" to resolve conflicts arising from competing desires or species of rationality; even so, there are various approaches to rationality "all things considered" in circulation.

The standards of rationality are not uniformly epistemic, then, but epistemic rationality can play a role even in what some call nonepistemic rationality. Regarding economic rationality, for instance, a person seeking such rationality will, at least under ordinary conditions, aspire to epistemically rational beliefs concerning what will achieve the relevant economic goals. Similar points apply to other species of nonepistemic rationality.

A comprehensive account of rationality will characterize epistemic and nonepistemic rationality, as well as corresponding kinds of irrationality e. Taking rationality as deontological, some philosophers characterize rationality in terms of what is rationally obligatory and what is merely rationally permissible.

Rational Choice Theory - 60 Second Adventures in Economics (6/6)

If an action, for instance, is rationally obligatory, then one's failing to perform it will be irrational. Other philosophers opt for a nondeontological evaluative conception of rationality that concerns what is good but not necessarily obligatory from a certain evaluative standpoint.