Hartmut Kliemt Is Rational Choice Theory Sufficient to Explain the Coming About of Social Order?

Hartmut Kliemt is Professor of Philosophy & Economics at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. He was Professor for Practical Philosophy at the Gerhard Mercator University Duisburg for two decades. Kliemt follows the English model of the “philosopher economist“ by working interdisciplinary in the fields of philosophy and economy using methods of decision and game theory. His research focuses on health ethics and economics, methodology of the practical sciences (such as medicine, business administration, law), and constitutional political economics. Hartmut Kliemt is one of the leading philosopher economists in Germany and worldwide.

Area of Research

Economics, Philosophy, Behavioral Economics

since 2006

Professor of Philosophy and Economics

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management (more details)

Institute for International Health Management


Professor for Practical Philosophy

University Duisburg-Essen (Universität Duisburg-Essen)


Research Associate

Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (Johannes-Gutenberg Universität Mainz), Chair for Legal and Social Philosophy


Research Associate

TU Dortmund University (Technische Universität Dortmund), Operations Research



Goethe University of Frankfurt (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main)


PhD in Philosophy

Goethe University of Frankfurt (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main)


Diploma in Economics

Goethe University of Frankfurt (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main)

- Mont Pelerin Society

- Public Choice Society

- Society for Experimental Economics

- Verein für Socialpolitik

© Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management is a research-led business school accredited by EQUIS and AACSB International. Frankfurt School offers educational programmes covering financial, economic and management subjects, including Bachelor and Master degrees, various MBAs and a Ph.D. programme, executive education, certified courses of study, open seminars and training courses for professionals, as well as seminars and workshops for those in vocational training. In their research, the members of Frankfurt School’s faculty explore topical aspects of business, management, banking and finance. Frankfurt School experts also manage advisory and training projects on financial matters in emerging markets and developing countries, especially on topics related to microfinance and renewable energy finance. Frankfurt School’s Master of Finance programme is the only German-language Master degree in finance to appear in the current Financial Times ranking (at number 20 in June 2016). In the Handelsblatt ranking of December 2014, which rates the research credentials of German-language business studies lecturers and faculties, the Frankfurt School faculty came fifth in Germany; several Frankfurt School professors also received high individual rankings. In the latest ranking of German-language higher-education programmes by German weekly business magazine Wirtschaftswoche, Frankfurt School ranked seventh in the Business Studies category. In addition to its campus in Frankfurt, Frankfurt School has study centres in Hamburg and Munich, as well as international offices in Ankara (Turkey), Beijing (China), Pune (India) and Nairobi (Kenya). It is a globally connected business school with nearly 100 partner universities. (Source: Frankfurt School of Finance & Management)


The research presented in this video tackles the old philosophical question on the reasons for social order with the means of modern economics. As HARTMUT KLIEMT elaborates, the rational choice assumption – that human behavior is guided by looking at causal consequences – cannot explain sufficiently why social order exists, because it does not account for rule-following behavior. Thus he shows that economic models of law or politics need to be improved by integrating rule-following behavior.

LT Video Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.21036/LTPUB10156

The Reason of Rules and the Rule of Reason

  • Hartmut Kliemt
  • Critica: Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía
  • Published in 1987
Hartmut Kliemt. "The Reason of Rules and the Rule of Reason." Critica: Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía 19 (1987): 43-86.

Thomas Hobbes, David Hume und die Bedingungen der Möglichkeit eines Staates

  • Hartmut Kliemt
  • Philosophie des Rechts, der Politik und der Gesellschaft
  • Published in 1988
Hartmut Kliemt. "Thomas Hobbes, David Hume und die Bedingungen der Möglichkeit eines Staates." Philosophie des Rechts, der Politik und der Gesellschaft 12 (1988): 152-160.

Evolutionarily Stable Co-Operative Commitments

  • Werner Güth and Hartmut Kliemt
  • Theory and Decision
  • Published in 2000
Werner Güth and Hartmut Kliemt. "Evolutionarily Stable Co-Operative Commitments." Theory and Decision 49 (2000): 197-222.