The goal of providing a scientific account of human behavior has driven a great variety of research programs in the social sciences since their disciplinary formation and institutionalization. Arguably, the most dominant mode of social scientific discourse in the last century has been economics. Economists have given various answers to the possibility of providing a scientific account of human action. The most dominant school of thought, neoclassical economics, has answered this in the affirmative. However, the neoclassical model of human agency placed the rational chooser, or homo economicus, at the foundation of this scientific account. Homo economicus has been subjected to a wide variety of criticisms, including from within economics itself. Recently, this critique has taken shape in the work of behavioral economists such as Daniel Kahneman. However critical this rival theory may be, it remains the case that both schools rest upon an understanding of the methods and aims of economics that was the target of both John Dewey and Ludwig Wittgenstein. This article draws out several consequences of examining both rival economic schools from Dewey’s reconstructive understanding of inquiry and Wittgenstein’s therapeutic treatment of intellectual problems.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 97-112
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.