November, 2020

One rationality to rule them all

  • Peter Leeson

    Senior Fellow, F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
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The claim that rationality is ‘limited, falsified and unhelpful’ for explaining norms is false, for it does not apply to rationality as conceptualized by rational choice theory. Rationality as conceptualized by rational choice theory is not limited: it can be used to develop explanations of any observed human behavior. Rationality as conceptualized by rational choice theory has not been falsified: indeed, it is not falsifiable. Rationality as conceptualized by rational choice theory is not unhelpful for explaining norms: it is often used to develop explanations of observed norms, including norms that seem most puzzling. Rationality as conceptualized by rational choice theory provides a universal framework for developing explanations of human behavior.