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)
4 Evolutionary economics
Richard Nelson on ‘Universal Darwinism’
Geoffrey Hodgson on ‘Universal Darwinism’
Ulrich Witt, evolution and Darwinism
Conclusion: Evolutionary economics and practical reason
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
7 Institutional economics
Economics and institutions
Agency, habits and institutions in light of classical practical reason
Contemporary economic theories of institutions
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
This series presents new advances and developments in social economics thinking on a variety of subjects that concern the link between social values and economics. Need, justice and equity, gender, cooperation, work, poverty, the environment, class, institutions, public policy, and methodology are some of the most important themes. Among the orientations of the authors are social economist, institutionalist, humanist, solidarist, cooperativist, radical and Marxist, feminist, post-Keynesian, behaviorist, and environmentalist. The series offers new contributions from today’s most foremost thinkers on the social character of the economy.
Publishes in conjunction with the Association of Social Economics.