Rev Austrian Econ (2011) 24:77–80 DOI 10.1007/s11138-010-0118-0 Review of Russell Hardin, How do you know? The economics of ordinary knowledge Princeton University Press, 2009, 240 pages Samuli Leppälä Published online: 16 July 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010 Rational choice is arguably the most important tool economists use to understand individual behavior and social phenomena. However, the notion of rationality is fundamentally reliant on the assumed knowledge of the decision-maker. One can, of course, do away with any concerns regarding the content and quality of these beliefs by assuming perfect knowledge, but that is neither the most common nor the most interesting case (Bicchieri 1993, p. 13). This is the central motivation behind Russell Hardin's How Do You Know?,which is abook for awide audience ofsocial scientists. The chapters of the book contain studies on knowledge and belief in diverse contexts, ranging from science and politics to religion and extremism. Hardin explains that, for this task, we need an economic theory of knowledge, which, unlike traditional epistemology, would address the question of “why we come to know what we know or believe” (p. xi). Indeed, Chapter 1 is largely a discussion of what such a theory would look like and
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 16, 2010
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