diff options
authorSilvio Rhatto <rhatto@riseup.net>2020-01-02 15:10:21 -0300
committerSilvio Rhatto <rhatto@riseup.net>2020-01-02 15:10:21 -0300
commit0cd05460a184260658b1ebce48eca3342d02d0ad (patch)
parent509ce910684552195191e8536b1d4c10027a04c0 (diff)
Updates economics
1 files changed, 26 insertions, 4 deletions
diff --git a/books/economics/game-theory-critical-introduction.md b/books/economics/game-theory-critical-introduction.md
index 6c35d8a..012c9ea 100644
--- a/books/economics/game-theory-critical-introduction.md
+++ b/books/economics/game-theory-critical-introduction.md
@@ -69,9 +69,8 @@ Instrumental rationality (_Homo economicus_):
Individuals who are instrumentally rational have preferences over various
‘things’, e.g. bread over toast, toast and honey over bread and butter, rock
over classical music, etc., and they are deemed rational because they select
- [...]
+ actions which will best satisfy those preferences. One of the virtues of this
+ model is that very little needs to be assumed about a person’s preferences.
Rationality is cast in a means-end framework with the task of selecting the
most appropriate means for achieving certain ends (i.e. preference
satisfaction); and for this purpose, preferences (or ‘ends’) must be coherent
@@ -79,7 +78,30 @@ Instrumental rationality (_Homo economicus_):
or less. Technically we must have a ‘preference ordering’ because it is only
when preferences are ordered that we will be able to begin to make
judgements about how different actions satisfy our preferences in different
- degrees. In fact this need entail no more than a simple consistency of the
+ degrees.
+ [...]
+ Thus it appears a promisingly general model of action. For instance, it could
+ apply to any type of player of games and not just individuals. So long as the
+ State or the working class or the police have a consistent set of objectives/
+ preferences, then we could assume that it (or they) too act instrumentally so
+ as to achieve those ends. Likewise it does not matter what ends a person
+ pursues: they can be selfish, weird, altruistic or whatever; so long as they
+ consistently motivate then people can still act so as to satisfy them best.
+An agent is "rational" in this conext when they have preference ordering" and
+if "they select the action that maximizes those preferences:
+ Readers familiar with neoclassical Homo economicus will need no further
+ introduction. This is the model found in standard introductory texts, where
+ preferences are represented by indifference curves (or utility functions) and
+ agents are assumed rational because they select the action which attains the
+ highest feasible indifference curve (maximises utility). For readers who have
+ not come across these standard texts or who have forgotten them, it is worth
+ explaining that preferences are sometimes represented mathematically by a
+ utility function. As a result, acting instrumentally to satisfy best one’s
+ preferences becomes the equivalent of utility maximising behaviour.
Reason and slavery: