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La théorie de Tibor Scitovsky sur les consommations induites

Abstract : In my work I present a theory of alternative rationality to the traditional (neoclassical)) one on the basis of the insights gathered by the Hungarian economist Tibor Scotovsky (1910-2002) by studying the psychological theory of "arousal". In particular, I examine and put into question the propriety of the utility maximization principle, the principle of decreasing marginal utility, the principle of revealed preferences, of self-interest, of full rationality and of the utilitarian hedonism. By analyzing the dynamics on which, according to Scitovsky, individuals learn, think and decide, I conclude that Scitovsky has in fact proposed a theory of rationality alternative to neoclassical one; for he connects the individuals' satisfaction not to a predetermined outcome (end), but to the process (means). That vision has many elements in common with that of Herbert Simon (i.e. procedural rationality); for Simon (1972b, 1978 and 1987b) too links individuals' satisfaction to the procedures and to the intrinsic motivations (aspirations) which engage them and not to the outcome of whatever "expected utility". Nevertheless Scitovsky perspective also partially differs from that of Simon, according to the fact that Scitovsky understands emotions as the essential elements which engage and control the cognitive process. Thus, to Scitovsky, emotions don't bound, on the contrary heighten the level of individuals' rationality. Indeed, Scitovsky does not conceive human behaviour simply as an automatic response of an internal or external stimulus; he believes in the fundamental role played by the mind in selecting and processing information. Consequently (differently from Simon) to Scitovsky human behaviour is the consequence of a cooperative participation of reason and emotion. That is the reason why, to Scitovsky, (again differently from Simon) emotions don't bound the cognitive faculties of an individual; on the contrary they are fundamental for foresight, prevent, and correct possible errors in abstract reasoning.
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Viviana Di Giovinazzo. La théorie de Tibor Scitovsky sur les consommations induites. Economies et finances. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2009. Français. ⟨tel-00509930⟩

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