chapter  8
22 Pages

Motivational Diversity and Cognitive Limitations

Saving the human subject from its structuralist destitution

This chapter provides the late neoclassical trajectories of the concept of the human subject as a centered, self-conscious, and autonomous unity. In contrast to the anthropomorphized selection mechanism of evolutionary game theory, social choice theory handles the question of motivational diversity at the level of anthropos proper and without apologies. The difference between an A-D agent and a game theoretic agent can be best understood in terms of the amount of information that each is supposed to process through differentiating between parametric and strategic rationality. The conceptual architecture of rational choice under uncertainty in the neoclassical tradition builds upon three different classes of data: preferences, beliefs, and information. In contrast to the debates on the motivational basis of human action, debates on the cognitive competence of human agents were centered on a single concept introduced to economics by Herbert Simon: bounded rationality.