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Rationality and Beyond: A Critique of the Nature and Task of Economics

Cheng Li ()

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: This paper shows that the means-end rationality principle, as an ‘ultimate given’ of economics, delimits the faculty of economists to observe, describe and understand the manifold human behavior. Given such epistemological limitations, as a descriptive science, the main task of economics is to incorporate appropriate empirical content into the a priori analytical framework with the aim of better explaining and predicting some aspect of human behavior. As a normative science, economists should draw on their persuasion and communication skills whereby changing the means and end of the decision makers to the extent that the real world decision-making can be improved.

Keywords: Rationality; Constrained maximization model; Methodology; Epistemology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A11 A12 B41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014-06-18
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-hme, nep-hpe and nep-pke
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