Monday, May 11, 2015

Shackle on Simon

"In schemes on thought of the Simon type the 'decision-maker' is faced with a choice among existents in a system which is already complete and closed in the sense that its structure, the set of relations composing it, cannot be added to by the decision-maker himself, but must be accepted by him and made the best of. His task is to understand this structure and then, by the exercise of judgment only, to deal with it by selecting among the possibilities, already existent, which it offers. By contrast with this, in such a scheme of thought as my own the decision-maker's field of choice is created by himself so that he is faced not with a set of relationships all simultaneously, and so in a sense timelessly, but with a system which evolves from moment to moment in his own mind." -- quoted in G. L. S. Shackle, p. 159

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