Rationality and external reference

Autor(en): Gaertner, W
Xu, YS
Stichwörter: choice; choice functions; CHOOSE; external references; NORMS; rationality; SOCIAL CHOICE; Sociology
Erscheinungsdatum: 1999
Herausgeber: SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD
Journal: RATIONALITY AND SOCIETY
Volumen: 11
Ausgabe: 2
Startseite: 169
Seitenende: 185
Zusammenfassung: 
This article is about rationality conditions underlying individual choice and questions the universal applicability of the `standard conditions'. It is argued that when making choices and decisions, an individual appeals to external references. As a consequence, the issue of rationality can be sensibly analyzed only if external references are spelled out. Utility maximization, menus, private and social norms are some of the examples of external references. In important cases, utility maximization of the standard form is not adequate for explaining individual rationality. Two such cases are analyzed and axiomatically characterized: the choice of the second largest element and the choice of the median. In both situations, the external references are norms. The characterizing axioms in each case are compared to the standard axioms of rational choice theory.
ISSN: 10434631
DOI: 10.1177/104346399011002003

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