Articles by Galbraith, Schor and Schudson

We will be looking at the Galbraith article the next time we meet,  namely, on Wednesday, May 2nd, at the usual place and time. David Boston will be presenting Galbraith´s ideas on the basis of this article. The Schor and Schudson articles are also relevant.

Galbraith – The Management of Specific Demand

Schor – In Defence of Consumer Critique

Schudson – Citizens, Consumers and the Good Society


Articles on Critical Theory

We will be looking at these at the meeting to be held in Seminar Room F, Coombs Building, 5:30-7:30, on Wednesday, April 4th.

Adorno and Horkheimer – The Culture Industry


Articles on Structures of the Self

I will be adding to this list of articles over time. Many authors refer to such theories as those of Higgins, e.g., Clive Hamilton, Emma Dawnay (Extending the Rational Man), etc.

Higgins – Self-Discrepancy – A Theory relating Self & Affect

Articles on Consumer Sovereignty and the Critique thereof

Hirschman – Against Parsimony

Bianchi – A Questioning Economist

Articles on Rational Choice Theory

Rational Choice Theory is an account of rational agency which underpins much economic theorising. Indeed, in some formulations of RCT, the choice between courses of action about which an agent is construed as deliberating is between purchasing some commodity and not purchasing it, i.e., between consuming and not consuming in the sense in which standard economic theory understands the notion of consumption. I will gradually be building up, in this post, a list of links to articles outlining RCT.

RCT is often also endorsed and applied in public policy circles. For example, it has been a powerful force in urban planning-see P. Mees, A Very Public Solution, Melbourne: University of Melbourne Press, 2000, pp.95-115. (Mees calls RCT “public choice theory.”) RCT is an essential component of neo-liberalism, otherwise known (in Australia) as economic rationalism. It is important to note, however, that one can endorse RCT without necessarily endorsing neo-liberalism.

Some of the articles I post here will be more serious than others. But even the lighter weight ones should provide at least some useful historical information about RCT. For a fascinating account of the rise of RCT to ideological hegemony in the USA, see S. M. Amadae, Rationalizing Capitalist Democracy, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

If anyone should find further articles on RCT, they should send them to me and I will post them.

Wikipedia Entry on Rational Choice Theory

Cox – The Empirical Content of Rational Choice Theory

McCumber – The Failure of RCT

An Article by Taylor on Sympathy

This article by Charles Taylor on the notion of sympathy is useful when thinking about what Amartya Sen means by sympathy (which is actually rather strange).Taylor – Sympathy

Articles on Sen

Here are some articles on Sen, taken all from Rationality and Commitment, ed. by Fabienne Peter and Hans-Bernhard Schmid, OUP, 2007

Peter & Schmid – Rational Fools, Rational Commitments

Hausman – Sympathy, Commitment & Preference

Pettit – Construing Sen on Commitment

The contribution by Sen to this volume is “Why Commitment is important to Rationality” and it is available in the post “Articles by Sen.”