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date: 18 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

It is argued that, contrary to some criticisms, rational choice theory of criminal decision making has and should have a clear place for emotions as part of the decision-making process, as it had in classical treatises of Coornhert, Smith, and Bentham, as well as in modern formulations such as Elster’s. It appears that much disagreement is a consequence of a hidden difference of opinion on what the concept of “rational choice” contains or should contain and how it may or may not be used in explaining the occurrence of crime. This chapter provides clarity on this issue by discussing various elements that may have generated disagreement about content and scope of the rational choice approach. The chapter focuses on what is, could, or should be the contribution of rational choice theory to criminal choice theory.

Keywords: rational choice, emotion, taste, subjectivity, decision making

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