Behavioral Economics and Augustinian Anthropology

Behavioral economists, such as Dan Ariely here at Duke, are uncovering by inductive, double-blind experiments what inductive, deliberate reflection revealed to a host of classic thinkers, from Aristotle and Augustine all the way down to the twentieth century. At least, so it  seems to me.

Here’s an interesting example, on the weaknesses of introspection as a predictive tool:

“We all systematically underpredict the degree to which arousal completely negates our superego, and the way emotions can take control of our behavior” (Predicatably Irrational, p. 99).

“Comme presque tout echappe a l’observation de soi, on ne peut tirer de l’instrospection des conclusions generales” (Simone Weil, Lecons de philosophie, 4).


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