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Racionalidade, incomensurabilidade e história: um diálogo entre as obras de Herbert Simon e Thomas Kuhn [Rationality, incommensurability and history: a dialogue between the works of Herbert Simon and Thomas Kuhn]

João Luiz Pondé
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João Luiz Pondé: UFRJ

Nova Economia, 2017, vol. 27, issue 3, 443-476

Abstract: The paper offers a comparative discussion of the rationality conceptions which are found in the works of Herbert Simon and Thomas Kuhn. Both authors oppose to formal concepts of rationality, that associate rational choice to some kind of abstract and universal algorithm and reduce the decision process to a set of logical operations. To build an alternative, Simon and Kuhn develop rationality notions that can be applied to ill structured decisions problems, in the sense that decision makers cannot deductively infer a unique action from the parameters of the decision problems. In this way, rational choices involve options that are incommensurable, but not incomparable. Although there are differences in their approaches, Simon and Kuhn take a similar stance and propose rationality concepts in which (i) the rationality of beliefs, choices and behavior are embedded in specific activities and social practices, and (ii) these activities and practices evolve in historical time.

Keywords: rationality; incommensurability; rational choice; theory choice; bounded rationality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B41 A12 D01 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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