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Self-Interest in Six Dimensions

Dylan Pahman


It is a first principle for modern economics that people tend to make decisions based upon calculations of their self-interest. Thus, some critics believe they can topple the whole edifice of modern economics if this presumption is shown to be unsound. Other critics more friendly to the discipline have seen challenging self-interest as a revolutionary breakthrough. Indeed, Nobel laureates Amartya Sen, Richard Thaler, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, and Vernon Smith have all critiqued the presumption of self-interest in their work. This essay seeks to contribute to the philosophy of economics by both complicating and clarifying the topic.

Dylan Pahman, "Self-Interest in Six Dimensions," Journal of Markets & Morality 23, no. 1 (2020): 173-189.

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