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A systemic critique of neoclassical utility theory

A systemic critique of neoclassical utility theory Purpose – This paper seeks to use systemic thinking for the purpose of criticizing neoclassical utility theory. Design/methodology/approach – First, the systemic‐theoretical ontology, epistemology and methodology are presented. Then the basis for the utility theory, and later spin‐offs, the decision theory and game theory, for which among others Jon Elster is a main agent, are criticized. Findings – The psychological hypothesis, on which the utility theory is based, is rejected as untrue. Originality/value – The fact that a theory can be explained in simple mathematical terms may make it popular, but this will hardly make it more scientific, despite its display of numerous mathematical terms. This paper's contribution has been to provide a critique of this concept. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Kybernetes Emerald Publishing

A systemic critique of neoclassical utility theory

Kybernetes , Volume 37 (2): 8 – Feb 15, 2008

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0368-492X
DOI
10.1108/03684920810851159
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper seeks to use systemic thinking for the purpose of criticizing neoclassical utility theory. Design/methodology/approach – First, the systemic‐theoretical ontology, epistemology and methodology are presented. Then the basis for the utility theory, and later spin‐offs, the decision theory and game theory, for which among others Jon Elster is a main agent, are criticized. Findings – The psychological hypothesis, on which the utility theory is based, is rejected as untrue. Originality/value – The fact that a theory can be explained in simple mathematical terms may make it popular, but this will hardly make it more scientific, despite its display of numerous mathematical terms. This paper's contribution has been to provide a critique of this concept.

Journal

KybernetesEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 15, 2008

Keywords: Cybernetics; Utility theory; Critical thinking

References