Mongin, Philippe (1998): Does optimization imply rationality?

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Abstract
The relations between rationality and optimization have been widely discussed in the wake of Herbert Simon's work, with the common conclusion that the rationality concept does not imply the optimization principle. The paper is partly concerned with adding evidence for this view, but its main, more challenging objective is to question the converse implication from optimization to rationality, which is accepted even by bounded rationality theorists. We discuss three topics in succession: (1) rationally defensible cyclical choices, (2) therevealed preference theory of optimization, and (3) the infinite regress of optimization. We conclude that (1) and (2) provide evidence only for the weak thesis that rationality does not imply optimization. But (3) is seen to deliver a significant argument for the strong thesis that optimization does not imply rationality.
Item Type:  MPRA Paper 

Original Title:  Does optimization imply rationality? 
Language:  English 
Keywords:  Optimization, Rational Choice, Bounded Rationality, Transitivity, Revealed Preference, Infinite Regress 
Subjects:  D  Microeconomics > D2  Production and Organizations > D21  Firm Behavior: Theory D  Microeconomics > D1  Household Behavior and Family Economics > D11  Consumer Economics: Theory B  History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches > B4  Economic Methodology > B41  Economic Methodology 
Item ID:  37740 
Depositing User:  Philippe Mongin 
Date Deposited:  29. Mar 2012 19:24 
Last Modified:  11. Feb 2013 23:08 
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URI:  http://mpra.ub.unimuenchen.de/id/eprint/37740 