Discipulus Economicus: The Calculating Learner

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Paul A. Kirschner

This blog has been previously posted on https://www.kirschnered.nl/2022/11/09/discipulus-economicus-the-calculating-learner/

Maybe you’ve heard of the homo economicus (Latin for economic man). Wikipedia defines the homo economicus as “the portrayal of humans as agents who are consistently rational and narrowly self-interested, and who pursue their subjectively defined ends optimally.” In normal language: The homo eonomicus is a person who makes decisions on what to do based upon questions like: What’s in it for me? Do the costs of doing something weigh up against the benefits I receive if I do it? If the balance shifts to profits, we do it. If it shifts to costs, we don’t. A spin-off on this is the discipulus economicus, or as (s)he is pejoratively called: the calculating student. This is a student who carries out the minimum of effort for the maximum benefit; a far cry from no pain, no gain.

A recent…

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