Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Reconciling morality and rationality – Positive learning in the moral domain


Morality and (economic) rationality are often understood as juxtaposed; a moral course of action would not be economically beneficial and vice versa. The paper reveals why this view, although common, is premature. In particular it delivers a game-theoretic analysis of moral problems and solutions and explains how moral principle function as what economists call "institutions". If this is the core of morality, there is no conflict between morality and (economic) rationality, properly understood. However, institutions always go with suitable sanctions (positive and/or negative), an aspect frequently overlooked in the moral camp. This has important consequences for positive learning in the moral domain, in particular with respect to fostering morality and rationality.

Keywords: Game Theory; Institution Economics; Moral Functioning; Moral Judgement; Moral Motivation; Moral Principles; Prisoners' Dilemma; Rational Choice; Situation-Specificity
Year: 2018
Link External Source: Online Version
Book Title: Positive learning in the age of information (PLATO) - A blessing or a curse?
ISBN: ISBN 978-3-658-19
Editor: Troitschanskaia, Olga; Wittum, Gabriel; Dengel, Andreas
Publisher: Wiesbaden: Springer VS
Pages: 347-361