Rationality and Capitalist Schooling

25 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2019

Date Written: March 2019

Abstract

In the field of philosophy of mind, the concepts of rational behavior, rational choice theory, and instrumental rationality (the “practical reasoning” version of rationality) are important in trying to make statements and conclusions about human thinking and behavior in general. Rational choice theory is also considered a normative but not a descriptive or positive theory. Much of economic theory is based on the principle that economic agents usually or always behave rationally in maximizing the benefits and/or minimizing the costs of their decisions. Developments in behavioral economics over the last several decades have begun to question this principle with much of the questioning about rationality and rational behavior centering on whether individuals can correctly and adequately assess probabilities and risk/reward. The inability to correctly assess risk/reward limits rational behavior and can yield sub-optimal outcomes for economic agents. This exploratory paper examines the linkages between schooling in a capitalist society and limits on rationality in a monopoly capital economic system.

Suggested Citation

Lambert, Thomas E., Rationality and Capitalist Schooling (March 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3356575 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3356575

Thomas E. Lambert (Contact Author)

University of Louisville ( email )

Economics Dept.
Louisville, KY 40292

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