1st Edition

Economics and Other Disciplines Assessing New Economic Currents

By Ricardo F. Crespo Copyright 2017
    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    During the second half of the twentieth century, economics exported its logic – utility maximization – to the analysis of several human activities or realities: a tendency that has been called “economic imperialism”. This book explores the concept termed by John Davis as “reverse imperialism”, whereby economics has been seen in recent years to have taken in elements from other disciplines.

    Economics and Other Disciplines sheds light on the current state and possible future development of economics by focusing on it from a philosophical perspective, broadening the concept of rationality in economic theory. The beliefs that prevail in the world today make up a physicalist worldview. This book argues that this pervasive view is harmful for economics as a social science. Do new economic currents like behavioral economics, evolutionary economics, neuroeconomics, institutional economics, happiness economics, the capability approach and civil economy, escape this widespread mentality? What would be an adequate underlying economic ethos? Do these approaches fit into this ethos?

    Ricardo F. Crespo appraises the contributions from a classical philosophy angle, emphasizing their implications regarding practical reason. This volume is of great importance to those who are interested in political economy, economic theory and philosophy, as well as philosophy of social science.

    1 Introductory overview


    2 The theoretical and metaphysical foundations of sciences

    The metaphysical worldview

    Physicalism, materialism and naturalism

    Practical and instrumental reason

    The evolution of economics



    3 Economics and psychology

    Herbert Simon and ‘Bounded Rationality’

    The ‘Ecological Rationality’ or ‘Frugal Heuristics’ approach

    Modern Behavioral Economics (MBE)

    Libertarian Paternalism



    4 Evolutionary economics

    Richard Nelson on ‘Universal Darwinism’

    Geoffrey Hodgson on ‘Universal Darwinism’

    Ulrich Witt, evolution and Darwinism

    Conclusion: Evolutionary economics and practical reason


    5 Neuroeconomics

    The metaphysics of neurosciences

    Types of physicalism and dualism

    Looking for alternative explanations for non-physicalists

    The metaphysics of neuroeconomics



    6 Happiness economics

    Happiness and economics

    Different concepts of happiness

    Flourish, calling and flow

    Measuring flourishing



    7 Institutional economics

    Economics and institutions

    Agency, habits and institutions in light of classical practical reason

    Thorstein Veblen

    Contemporary economic theories of institutions

    Rule Theory

    Equilibrium Theory

    Constitutive Rules Theory



    8 The Capability Approach

    Introducing the Capability Approach

    Some problems in Sen’s CA

    Identification of valuable capabilities: the debate over lists of capabilities

    Heterogeneity and incommensurability



    9 Civil Economy

    Historical and intellectual roots of Civil Economy: from Aristotle to Genovesi and Dragonetti

    From Aristotle to nowadays



    10 Conclusion


    Ricardo F. Crespo is a Professor of Philosophy of Economics in IAE (Universidad Austral) and in Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Argentina. He is a researcher at the National Council of Scientific Research (CONICET, Argentina) and has published extensively in his field.