Theory of Information: From Bounded Rationality to Interpretive Reason

  • Pascal Petit


In the current terms of dominant economic theory, which I would qualify as Extended Standard Theory (as opposed to Standard Theory, represented by models of general equilibrium), the place of information is absolutely central. It is defined as a variation of subjective probabilities in a theory of rational decision,a variation with which it is always logically possible (or even actually feasible) to associate a marginal willingness to pay: if information circulates then it is as a merchandise that it does so. The passage to a hypothesis of bounded rationality will allow us to gain access to a more general notion of information, admitting the latter definition as a limited case. Information will be defined as every source of meaning in a general theory of human action; it is not always susceptible to receiving a price, for although it circulates it is as an intermediary (in the sense used by Michel Callon, 1991, p. 197: “Everything which passes from one actor to the other and which constitutes the form and the matter of relations which arise between them”) and an intermediary only has the form of merchandise in highly particular, that is to say, decontextualised situations!


Standard Theory Bounded Rationality Probability Judgement Cognitive Artefact Marginal Willingness 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pascal Petit
    • 1
  1. 1.ParisFrance

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