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Title:Charles Darwin meets Amoeba economicus: why natural selection cannot explain rationality PDF Logo
Authors:Khalil, Elias L.
Issue Date:2006
Series/Report no.:Papers on economics and evolution 0622
Abstract:Advocates of natural selection usually regard rationality as redundant, i.e., as a mere linguistic device to describe natural selection. But this “Redundancy Thesis” faces the anomaly that rationality differs from natural selection. One solution is to conceive rationality as a trait selected by the neo-Darwinian mechanism of natural selection as . But this “Rationality-qua-Trait Thesis” faces a problem as well: Following neo-Darwinism, one cannot classify one allele of, e.g., eyesight as better than another without reference to constraints—while one can classify rationality as better than irrationality irrespective of constraints. Therefore, natural selection cannot be a trait. This leads us to the only solution: Rationality is actually a method that cannot be reduced to a trait. This “Rationality-qua-Method Thesis” lays the ground for alternative, developmental views of evolution.
Subjects:Redundancy Thesis
rationality anomaly
Rationality-qua-Trait Thesis
incoherence problem
Rationality-qua-Method
JEL:D0
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:Papers on Economics and Evolution, MPI für Ökonomik

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