Revisiting the criticisms of rational choice theories

Originally published in Philosophy Compass

Theories of rational choice are arguably the most prominent approaches to human behaviour in the social and behavioral sciences. At the same time, they have faced persistent criticism. In this paper, I revisit some of the core criticisms that have for a long time been levelled against them and discuss to what extent those criticisms are still effective, not only in light of recent advancements in the literature but also of the fact that there are different variants of rational choice theories that have not been considered explicitly when criticizing them.


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