, Volume 51, Issue 5, pp 286–287 | Cite as

The Irresistible Fetish of Utility Theory: From “Pleasure and Pain” to Rationalising Torture

  • Giovanni DosiEmail author
  • Andrea Roventini
Utility Theory


This note briefly examines the path that the economics discipline has taken since adopting the assumption that human behaviour is exclusively driven by utility maximisation. This view has prevented the full comprehension of most economic phenomena and has spread to other social disciplines, occasionally leading to results either ridiculous or tragic, such as using utility theory to rationalise torture. Such academic absurdity must be ended.

Copyright information

© ZBW and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scuola Superiore Sant’AnnaInstitute of EconomicsPisaItaly

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