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Islam, Rationality, and Self-Interest

  • Ayman Reda
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Islamic Banking, Finance, and Economics book series (IBFE)

Abstract

This chapter presents an Islamic alternative to the economic rationality of Rational Choice Theory, by highlighting the role of reason and justice in the context of a metaphysical understanding of the world. In particular, this understanding is predicated on the Islamic concept of the vicegerency of man and the purpose of creation. While the modern view of economic rationality emphasizes maximization, the Islamic view is one of justice, defined as giving each person or thing its due. The Islamic notion of rationality as justice leads to crucial implications with respect to human behavior, both individually and socially. The chapter also engages in a comparative analysis between Adam Smith’s concept of the “impartial spectator” and Imam Ali’s view of the “self” as a mizan or balance.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ayman Reda
    • 1
  1. 1.EconomicsThe University of Michigan - DearbornDearbornUSA

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