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Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Pubs

Anyone with access to Springer publications online can read my two forthcoming Reiview of Austrian Economics articles,"The challenge of akrasia for the theory of rational choice" and "Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The black swan: The impact of the highly improbable."

23 comments:

  1. Holy cow, didn't I just read that akrasia paper not too long ago? And it's already at this stage in the process?!

    I am sorry to break it to you guys, but apparently Gene has been doing more than merely starting a civil war.

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  2. Yes, you did just read it recently.

    Just wait for my re-casting of the philosophy of economics coming out in Critical Review!

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  3. Dr.Murray Tyson12:25 AM

    I don't get it? From springerlink, the title: The challenge of akrasia for the theory of rational choice,

    From the abstract at springerlink: The problematic status of akrasia is exhibited most sharply when set against the backdrop of praxeology. Therefore, this paper will explore whether the idea of akratic action can be reconciled with the fundamental principles of praxeology.

    Sounds like you are all over the damn place. Is this about akrasia and praxeology, or akrasia and Rational Choice Theory?

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  4. Well, as a Doctor, Murray, you must have access to Springer periodicals -- go read it.

    By the way, what peer-reviewed journals does your work show up in? Mine has been in about a dozen now, but I'm sure you've published far more than me. Post your CV for us, Doc.

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  5. Oh, and, uh, Doc -- praxeology is a species of the genus "rational choice theory."

    But you probably knew that already, huh Doc?

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  6. Dr. Murray Tyson9:29 AM

    Oh, and, uh, Doc -- praxeology is a species of the genus "rational choice theory."

    But you probably knew that already, huh Doc?


    No I don't know that already.

    And neither does another guy who has passed peer review.

    Ludwig von Mises:

    "Human action is necessarily always rational. The term "rational action" is therefore pleonastic and must be rejected as such. When applied to the ultimate ends of action, the terms rational and irrational are inappropriate and meaningless."

    I am also fascinated by your question with regard to where my peer reviewed articles have appeared. Are you suggesting that even someone, who has not been peer reviewed, and who has only read the title and abstract to your paper can find immediate grave errors, in your article?

    -Doc

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  7. Wow, Murray, can you say 'non sequitur' -- that Mises quote has nothing whatsoever to do with my classification. Israel Kirzner, Mises top living heir, attended a presentation of my paper, and while he had criticisms of it, he saw no problem in my classification scheme.

    And no, the point was not that someone who has not published peer-reviewed articles cannot opint out an error in one -- it is that, given you've been busy knocking how much intellectual work I've been doing lately, I was sure that you must be doing much more. But, it turns out, you're doing nothing at all!

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  8. Anonymous11:19 AM

    Gene,
    Would you be willing to e-mail me copies of the two papers? If so, I'll shoot you an e-mail to which you can then reply.
    Thanks,
    Araglin

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dr. Murray Tyson11:42 AM

    Can you say 'non sequitur'.

    Where exactly did I say I wasn't published?
    ----------
    Well, Kirzner may not have a problem with your classification, but I do.

    How exactly can praxeology be a species of "rational choice theory", when "rational choice theory", according to praxeologists is a faulty theory?

    It is completly rejected!!

    I'm sure even by Kirzner, and given time to think about it Kirzner would probably agree.

    And, of course, Kirzner ddn't here this whopper of an attempt to defend you paper:

    praxeology is a species of the genus "rational choice theory."

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  10. Doc, you admitted by omission.

    No, Kirzner did not see that defense here, he read it in the paper -- as did two editors at the RAE, two anonymous reviewers, my advisor at LSE, and ten other academics at the NYU Austrian Colloquium, not one of whom had the least problem with my classification scheme. But one insulting jerk who apparently has no record of accomplishment in the field at all finds it a 'whopper.'

    Man, I feel so roundly rebuked!

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  11. Araglin -- of course.

    ReplyDelete
  12. dr. Murray Tyson4:06 PM

    Here is a standard definition of Rational Choce Theory, that I found on the internet at businessdrectory.com. It goes along with what I have always considered the definition of Rational Choice Theory to be:

    Attempts to explain all (conforming and deviant) social phenomenon in terms of how self-interested individuals make choices under the influence of their preferences. It treats social exchange as similar to economic exchange—where all parties try to maximize their advantage or gain, and to minimize their disadvantage or loss. RCT's basic premises are that (1) human beings base their behavior on rational calculations, (2) they act with rationality when making choices, (3) their choices are aimed at optimization of their pleasure or profit. This concept has applications in economics and marketing, and in criminology and international relations. RCT, however, cannot explain the existence of certain social phenomenon such as altruism, reciprocity, and trust, and why individuals voluntarily join associations and groups where collective and not individual benefits are pursued.

    Maybe you have a more insightful defintion of RCT, that makes it the same as praxeology, if you don't, then a paper that has a title that says, "The challenge of akrasia for the theory of rational choice" and an abstract that says "Therefore, this paper will explore whether the idea of akratic action can be reconciled with the fundamental principles of praxeology" is confused.

    It is a dsicussion about two dfferent things.

    Praxeology would clearly not have problems with "altruism, reciprocity, and trust, and why individuals voluntarily join associations and groups where collective and not individual benefits are pursued..."

    Further, Mises, who knew a thing about praxeology, would never use the term "rational" to describe economic action. I repeat from Mises:

    "Human action is necessarily always rational. The term "rational action" is therefore pleonastic and must be rejected as such. When applied to the ultimate ends of action, the terms rational and irrational are inappropriate and meaningless."

    If I recall Mises magnum opus was Human Action, not Human Rational Action. There is a big difference between "Rational Choice Theory" and Choice Theory. Mises understood this. Using the world "rational" , when talking about human choice or action, causes a trip down all knds of dangerous winding roads, including apparently, akrasia.

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  13. Dr Murray Tyson4:17 PM

    Oh yeah, and I'm "insulting"?

    You. January 29,2008:

    http://www.gene-callahan.org/blog/2008/01/karen-decoster-notable-even-amongst.html

    *Karen De Coster, Notable Even Amongst the Insane

    *But the chief fruitcake in this regard is far and away Karen De Coster.

    *Decoster's latest display of advanced Turrets appeared yesterday

    What's a matter big boy give but can't take?

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  14. "[W]hat I have always considered the definition of Rational Choice Theory to be:"

    "Attempts to explain all (conforming and deviant) social phenomenon in terms of how self-interested individuals make choices under the influence of their preferences."

    Just like praxeology does.

    "It treats social exchange as similar to economic exchange—where all parties try to maximize their advantage or gain, and to minimize their disadvantage or loss."

    Just like praxeology.

    "RCT's basic premises are that (1) human beings base their behavior on rational calculations,"

    As says praxeology.

    "(2) they act with rationality when making choices,"

    Just like in praxeology.

    "(3) their choices are aimed at optimization of their pleasure or profit."

    As in praxeology.

    "RCT, however, cannot explain the existence of certain social phenomenon such as altruism, reciprocity, and trust, and why individuals voluntarily join associations and groups where collective and not individual benefits are pursued."

    This is NOT true of basic RCT -- it is true only of variants that include assumptions like self-interestedness=selfishness.

    "Further, Mises, who knew a thing about praxeology, would never use the term "rational" to describe economic action. I repeat from Mises:

    "Human action is necessarily always rational."

    BOING! By saying 'he would "never" would use it to describe economic action' do you mean in the sense that he ACTUALLY DID USE IT TO DESCRIBE ALL HUMAN ACTION in the very first sentence you quote.

    Perhaps you haven't looked up the word 'pleonasm'? Mises is rejecting 'rational choice' because he thinks choice IS ALWAYS rational, so describing choice that way is redundant, not because the term doesn't apply.

    So here's a quick summary of praxeology vs. neoclassical rational choice, so you can see why they are species of the same genus:

    1) They agree on the three major tenets you listed above.
    2) They differ in that Mises regards 'rational choice' as a pleonasm, while the mainstream often posits that there can be 'irrational choices.'

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  15. "What's a matter big boy give but can't take?"

    I was merely pointing out that you are insulting. Did I mention anywhere that I "can't take it"? In fact, it's rather like being attacked with cotton balls -- more funny than painful.

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  16. Dr. Murray Tyson7:44 PM

    Glad you can take it, here's some more:

    I didn't have to look up 'pleonasm'. I knew what it meant, did you?

    You: Mises is rejecting 'rational choice'...

    True. He rejects 'rational choice' as a term, since he sees no dfferences between rational, irrational,akratic, etc., when discussing human action. I agree. This admission by you, BTW, is not a postive for your paper.

    You:They differ in that Mises regards 'rational choice' as a pleonasm, while the mainstream often posits that there can be 'irrational choices.'

    True, which completely blows up your paper, that has a title:The challenge of akrasia for the theory of rational choice BUT an abstract: ...this paper will explore whether the idea of akratic action can be reconciled with the fundamental principles of praxeology

    You have just admitted that praxeology and RCT, view rational action dfferently, but the title to your paper and your abstract are treating the two as synonyms.

    Akratic action can be reconciled under praxeology, since for Mises if its action of any kind it falls under praxeology. "Akratic action" for Mises is pleonastic. Beginning and end of paper!

    For RCT, who knows where it falls? I can't even contemplate it, since like Mises,I believe that "When applied to the ultimate ends of action, the terms rational and irrational are inappropriate and meaningless."..and Mises would certanly argue that 'akratic action' is just as "inappropriate and meaningless."

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  17. "You have just admitted that praxeology and RCT, view rational action differently..."

    Well, no, I said praxeology and MAINSTREAM RCT view this differently, WHICH IS WHY THEY ARE DIFFERENT SPECIES OF THE GENUS RCT!

    We have one theory that says "Choice is always rational," and then goes on to examine it. Another theory says, "Choice is sometimes rational," and then goes on to examine those cases. They are both "rational choice theories" -- same genus. They are different in an important way -- different species!

    About 15 or 20 people with great expertise in this area understood this point perfectly well. I apologize that one person whose understanding of RCT is at the level of a pop definition from a business web site can't quite grasp it.

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  18. By the way, Karen... oops! I mean, Murray... I don't have any more time to waste replying to this rubbish. I knew your posts were never directed to seeking any actual understanding of what I was saying, and that nothing I posted would have any impact whatsoever on what was merely a personal attack, and not really any sort of intellectual critique. I answered for a while, merely in the interest of demonstrating to any third-party to the dispute that your objections to my paper were based on ignorance of mainstream RCT and a flimsy knowledge of praxeology... and I'm sure that I have done so. If anyone else thinks I haven't handled these objections, let me know, and I'll respond. But you, De Koster... oops, I mean Tyson... have never been here for intellectual discussion, only to continue your weird psycho-sexual obsession with me.

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  19. "only to continue your weird psycho-sexual obsession with me."

    Uh oh, that is why I am here...

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