Rationality and Humanity: A View from Feminist Economics

Global Development and Environment Institute Working Paper No. 05-04

26 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2006

See all articles by Julie A. Nelson

Julie A. Nelson

University of Massachusetts at Boston - Department of Economics; Tufts University - Global Development and Environment Institute

Date Written: May 2005

Abstract

Does Rational Choice Theory (RCT) have something important to contribute to the humanities? Jon Elster and others answer affirmatively, arguing that RCT is a powerful tool that will lend clarity and rigor to work in the humanities just as it (presumably) has in economics. This essay examines the disciplinary values according to which the application of RCT in economics has been judged a "success," and suggests that this value system does not deserve general approbation. Richness and realism must be retained as important values alongside precision and elegance, if anti-scientific dogmatism and absurd conclusions are to be avoided.

Keywords: rationality, economics, feminism, methodology, values, emotions

JEL Classification: A12, A11, A13

Suggested Citation

Nelson, Julie A., Rationality and Humanity: A View from Feminist Economics (May 2005). Global Development and Environment Institute Working Paper No. 05-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=894343 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.894343

Julie A. Nelson (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts at Boston - Department of Economics ( email )

100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.umb.edu/academics/cla/dept/economics/faculty/facultyNelson.html

Tufts University - Global Development and Environment Institute ( email )

MA
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/about_us/researchers.html#nelson

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