Neuroeconomics and Confirmation Theory (2014)

Philosophy of Science 81: 195-215

Published Version (Open Access)

doi.org/10.1086/675669 (Requires Subscription)

Abstract: Neuroeconomics is a research programme founded on the thesis that cognitive and neurobiological data constitute evidence for answering economic questions. I employ confirmation theory in order to reject arguments both for and against neuroeconomics. I also emphasize that some arguments for neuroeconomics will not convince the skeptics because these arguments make a contentious assumption: economics aims for predictions and deep explanations of choices in general. I then argue for neuroeconomics by appealing to a much more restrictive (and thereby skeptic-friendly) characterization of the aims of economics.