Imagine economics is no longer built around the dual of preferences and constraints. We would instead have the following starting points:
2. Beliefs. What model of the economy — and more importantly of yourself — lurks in your mind?
3. Peers. Which people do you accept as your relevant peer group? This often determines the working model for your beliefs.
4. Stories. What stories do you tell yourself about who you are?
Arguably these analytical categories are more fundamental to human behavior than utility maximization. Combine them with evolutionary biology, and a bit of neuroscience, a marriage with sociology and social psychology, and we have the foundations for a revolution in economic science. Fifty years or so from now, that is.