Epictetusian Rationality. A new GLO Discussion Paper by GLO Fellow Gregory Ponthiere.

A new GLO Discussion Paper outlines that Epictetusian rationality provides a basis for mental freedom and happiness, and excludes the existence of prisoner’s dilemmas.

GLO Discussion Paper No. 1201, 2022

Epictetusian Rationality – Download PDF
by Ponthiere, Gregory

GLO Fellow Gregory Ponthiere

Gregory Ponthiere

Author Abstract: According to Epictetus, mental freedom and happiness can be achieved by distinguishing between, on the one hand, things that are upon our control (our acts, opinions and desires), and, on the other hand, things that are not upon our control (our body, property, offi ces and reputation), and by wishing for nothing that is outside our control. This article proposes two accounts of Epictetus’s precept: the I account of Epictetus’s precept requires indifference between outcomes differing only on circumstances, whereas the IB account requires indifference between outcomes involving the best replies to circumstances. We study the implications of these precepts on the preference relation and on the existence of Epictetusian rationality. The I account implies that the preference relation satisfies in- dependence of circumstances, whereas the IB account implies robustness to dominated alternatives. Unlike the IB account, the I account rules out (counter)adaptive preferences. Finally, when examining game-theoretical implications of Epictetusian rationality, we show that the two accounts of Epictetus’s precept exclude the existence of prisoner’s dilemmas.

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Vol. 36, Issue 1, January 2023: Journal of Population Economics (JOPE) 16 articles. https://link.springer.com/journal/148/volumes-and-issues/36-1
Watch the videos of article presentations on December 1, 2022 during the GLO Global Conference 2022.

JOPE has CiteScore 6.5 (2021, LINK) & Impact Factor 4.7 (2021, LINK)

GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS,  EconPapers)Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.

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