For Herbert Gintis, the “rational actor,” or “beliefs, preferences, and constraints (BPC),” model is central to his unifying framework for the behavioral sciences. It is not argued here that this model is refuted by evidence. Instead, this model relies ubiquitously on auxiliary assumptions, and is evacuated of much meaning when applied to both human and nonhuman organisms. An alternative perspective of “program-based behavior” is more consistent with evolutionary principles.
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