A Preference for Selfish Preferences: The Problem of Motivations in Rational Choice Political Science.

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    • Abstract:
      This article analyzes the problem of preference imputation in rational choice political science. I argue against the well-established practice in political science of assuming selfish preferences for purely methodological reasons, regardless of its empirical plausibility (this I call a preference for selfish preferences). Real motivations are overlooked due to difficulties of imputing preferences to agents in a non-arbitrary way in the political realm. I compare the problem of preference imputation in economic and political markets, and I show the harmful consequences of the preference for selfish preferences in the field of collective action. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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