Redefining the Basic Concepts of Rational Choice Theory Based on the Interpretive Concepts of Allameh Tabataba'i

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Naser Elahi / Associate Professor of the Department of Economics, Mofid University

Seyed Zia’addin Kia-al-Hosseini / Assistant Professor of the Department of Economics, Mofid University


@Seyed Mohammad-Zia’ Firouz-Abadi / Lecturer of the Department of Economics, Mofid University

Received: 2019/07/09 - Accepted: 2019/12/25                                               



Economists typically use rational choice theory to realistically analyze economic phenomena. This theory is challenged by the complexities of human behavior. Therefore, assumptions and concepts used in this theory—including the concept of self-interest and system of preferences—have faced a lot of criticism and adjustments over the years. This paper seeks to redefine the basic concepts of rational choice theory based on the interpretive concepts of Allameh Tabataba'i using content analysis method. The findings of the study show that the drawbacks of rational choice theory mainly stem from its basic concepts, including the three fundamental concepts of interest, the individual, and rationality, as well as the relationship between them. The proposed concepts of this paper about rationality have been suggested due to the role of training and guidance in the consolidated personality of man in a long-term spiritual perspective and by considering “other” like “self”. These concepts can be introduced in the form of “questionable individuality” and “evolutionary rationality”. The results of this study show that the proposed conceptual adjustments are in line with Allameh Tabataba’i’s interpretative concepts regarding some verses.

Key words: Economic man, Economic rationality, Self-interest, Variable individuality, Evolutionary rationality.

JEL: Z12, P40, D03, B59, B00.

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