Mind/Brain and Economic Behaviour: For a Naturalised Economics

Axiomathes 29 (3):237-264 (2019)
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Abstract

Neuroeconomics is a science pledged to tracing the neurobiological correlates involved in decision-making, especially in the case of economic decisions. Despite representing a recent research field that is still identifying its research objects, tools and methods, its epistemological scope and scientific relevance have already been openly questioned by several authors. Among these critics, the most influential names in the debate have been those of Faruk Gul and Wolfgang Pesendorfer, who claim that the data on neural activity cannot find place in economic models, which should on the contrary be solely based on the data produced by choices. This paper aims at countering the gloomy and unsubstantiated claims of these two authors and those who believe that neuroscience cannot provide new and useful insights to the established knowledge of standard economics. The main point stressed here is that this perception is the product of a general misunderstanding of the advances made by neuroscience, which are incidentally of crucial importance.

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