Economics and Other Disciplines : Assessing New Economic Currents book cover
1st Edition

Economics and Other Disciplines
Assessing New Economic Currents

ISBN 9781138642447
Published May 23, 2017 by Routledge
184 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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

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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.