Rational thinking and emotion: one without the other is a dangerous thing
THERE'S a famous case in neuroscience of a man whose brain was damaged in a way that stopped him feeling emotions. He was a living example of homo economicus - the rational calculator of what course of action would suit him best.
And, in fact, he was very good at carefully itemising and weighing the pros and cons of every choice.
There was just one problem: he could never make up his mind. He would just go on weighing the pros and cons.
Emotion without reason gives you talkback radio. Reason without emotion gives you the worst excesses of economic rationalism.mental attitude - for economists is to say to the community: tell us your material objectives and we'll tell you the best way to achieve them at the minimum cost in resources, given your desired level of quality.
The one thing economists should never do is tell the community what its objectives should be. This is because objectives - ends - are the province of emotion. We want what we wantwhadyathinkThe classic example of rationalists persuading governments to give up ends because they would make such wonderful means is the deregulation of shopping hours and dismantling of penalty payments for work at unsociable hours.
There is no denying that moving the economy closer to a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week operation will make it more efficient in producing material goods and services.
But, equally, you have to be emotionally crippled to fail to see that abolishing the weekend advances our material ends at the expense of social ends, such as a rich emotional life with family and friends. Great idea.
edit: screw the perspective this article is written from...does the article hold any merit to you?