Representations and the Corruption of Goods
Jones, Martin K
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The traditional view of the economic agent is of an individual who is self-interested, rational and perceives the world “correctly”. However, there is a lot of experimental and other evidence that undermines this view of agents. It is argued that an attempt to model these agents properly requires the cognitive science idea of a mental representation- a mental state with content. It is shown that this idea gives economists resources to discuss critiques of economics by Sandel (2012) and Grant (2012). In particular, it allows us to think clearly about the notion of goods being “corrupted” by a change in context from a non-market to a market situation.