Why the Economic Conception of Human Behaviour Might Lack a Biological Basis

Theoria, Vol. 18, No. 48, 2003

Posted: 13 Nov 2010

See all articles by Jack J. Vromen

Jack J. Vromen

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Faculty of Philosophy, Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE)

Date Written: 2003

Abstract

In several recent papers Arthur Robson sketches evolutionary scenarios in order to explain why we humans evolved hard-wired utility functions and the capacity to choose flexibly on the basis of them. These scenarios are scrutinized minutely in the paper. It is pointed out that Robson ignores several relevant insightful ideas and distinctions that have surfaced in other contemporary evolutionary theorizing. A somewhat different picture of human behavior emerges once these ideas and distinctions are taken seriously.

Keywords: biological evolution, human behavior, hard-wired utility functions, evolved psychological mechanisms, modules, fast and frugal heuristics

Suggested Citation

Vromen, Jack J., Why the Economic Conception of Human Behaviour Might Lack a Biological Basis (2003). Theoria, Vol. 18, No. 48, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1706783

Jack J. Vromen (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Faculty of Philosophy, Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
EIPE Office, Room H5-23
3000 Dr Rotterdam
Netherlands

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