The idea of the rational man has always been a bit of an exaggeration. However, it has been a useful idea. The American court system often rest on the idea of the “reasonable man.” And that idea has functioned well incorporating contemporary social beliefs informally into the legal system.
The idea of the rational buyer has permeated American economics. It has bizarre elements. For instance, it assumes that buyers make rational decisions even in the face of advertising. It assumes that buyers recalculate safety risks to maintain the same level of safety, etc. It also is useful, but mainly for protecting business from criticism.
It would be extremely difficult to develop a criminal justice system that takes a perpetrator’s reasoning into consideration. But that it is difficult does not mean it should be done. It would add depth and power to punishment and social control.
It needs development, but I think it can be done.
via hbd* chick