By A. Yuengert
In a different project, Andrew Yuengert explores and describes the bounds to the commercial version of the man or woman, delivering another account of human selection, to which financial versions could be in comparison.
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Extra resources for Approximating Prudence: Aristotelian Practical Wisdom and Economic Models of Choice
An optimization model of a consumer trading off pizza and beer in a single period may in fact be closer to reality than a life-cycle model of a 30-yearold consumer trading off future expected utility between ages 78 and 79. If the optimization approach gets certain basic things wrong, then more complex optimization problems may not be an improvement. I admire the optimization model, and the creative efforts of those who employ it. I am picking on the optimization model not because it is uniquely flawed, but because it has been the most popular approach to choice modeling for the last 60 years.
To abandon this responsibility—to let another determine the ends you will seek—is to abandon responsibility for yourself, for the pursuit of the PR AC TICAL WISDOM 39 very personal project of directing yourself toward your own human flourishing. The concept of technique is appealing to economists, who have a history of promoting themselves as technicians, going back to Ricardo’s assertion that “he [the political economist] is to tell you how you may become rich, but he is not to advise you to prefer riches to indolence, or indolence to riches” (1951–1973, II, p.
T. ) is a well-defined utility function,3 x1 and x 2 are quantities of single-period consumption goods, p1 and p2 are prices, and I is income. 1 is a mere outline. I S T H E R E A N Y T H I N G E C O N O M I C S C A N N O T D O? 1 is an approximation, what reality does it approximate? Before answering this question, it is necessary to make a distinction between two kinds of approximation. A model can approximate reality in two ways. One sort of model is a simplified version of a more complex reality that is not essentially different in structure from the model itself.