rational choice theory?

jones/bhandari djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Tue Apr 4 05:09:17 MDT 1995

>In fact, Marx himself quite clearly uses proto-RCT models in his political
>economy,a s Elster and Little show, and even if he didn't, Elster, et al.
>show that RCT is a useful tool.

I  agree with Justin's assessment of Daniel Little's work.  His book The
Scientific Marx and his entry in Readings in the Philosophy of Social
Science, ed. Martin and McIntyre are excellent.   I can't find where I put
Little's essay on Elster; I remember it as a defense of Marxian economic
theory against some specific criticisms of Elster's.

>From Little's book: "These two points--that the defining properties of
capitalism are not directly observable and that they are vigorously
concealed from the participant through fetishizing institutions--mean that
explanation requires abstract hypotheses about those unobservable factors.
Sciences content to merely catalogoue observable regularities are unlikely
to provide adequate explanations of social phenomena." (95) The Scientific
Marx. Minneapolis: Univ of Minnesoto Press, 1986.

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