Performativity Rationalized

  • Francesco Guala
Chapter
Part of the Perspectives from Social Economics book series (PSE)

Abstract

Economic sociologists have been criticized for using the term ‘performativity’ in a way that seems unfaithful to Austin’s notion. In this paper, I defend this usage against Uskali Mäki’s challenge, in particular, his claim that economic theories cannot constitute illocutionary acts. To counter this claim, I argue that performative speech acts play primarily a coordinating role by manipulating agents’ beliefs, and this is the same role that theories like the Black–Scholes model of option pricing play in financial markets, if MacKenzie’s historical reconstruction is right.

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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Guala
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative MethodsUniversity of MilanMilanItaly

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