SummarySavage famously contravened his own theory when first confronting the Allais Paradox, but then convinced himself that he had made an error. We examine the formal structure of Savage’s ‘error-correcting’ reasoning in the light of (i) behavioural economists’ claims to identify the latent preferences of individuals who violate conventional rationality requirements and (ii) Broome’s critique of arguments which presuppose that rationality requirements can be achieved through reasoning. We argue that Savage’s reasoning is not vulnerable to Broome’s critique, but does not provide support for the view that behavioural scientists can identify and counteract errors in people’s choices or preferences.
Details: Journal of Economic Methodology 28 (2021): 143–164.
Authors: Franz Dietrich, Antonios Staras and Robert Sugden
Sir Clive Granger BuildingSchool of Economics
The University of NottinghamUniversity ParkNottingham NG7 2RD
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