Hegel, Institutions and Economics: Performing the Social, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Hegel, Institutions and Economics

Performing the Social, 1st Edition

By Carsten Herrmann-Pillath, Ivan Boldyrev


312 pages | 12 B/W Illus.

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Hegel’s philosophy has witnessed periods of revival and oblivion, at times considered to be an unrivalled and all-embracing system of thought, but often renounced with no less ardour. This book renews the dialogue with Hegel by looking at his legacy as a source of insight and judgement that helps us rethink contemporary economics. This book focuses on a concept of institution which is equally important for Hegel's political philosophy and for economic theory to date.

The key contributions of this Hegelian perspective on economics lead us to the synthesis of traditional approaches and new ideas gained in economic experiments and advanced by neuroeconomists, sociologists and cognitive scientists. The proper account of contemporary 'civil society' involves comprehending it as a historically evolving totality of individual minds, ideas and intersubjective structures that are mutually dependent, tied by recognitive relations, and assert themselves as a whole in the ongoing performative movement of 'objective spitit'. The ethics of recognition is paired with the ethics of associations that supports moral principles and gives them true, concrete universality.

This unusual constellation of seemingly remote fields suggests that Hegel, read in a pragmatist mode, anticipated the new theories and philosophies of extended mind, social cognition and performativity. By providing a new conceptual apparatus and reformulating the theory of institutions in the light of this new synthesis, this book claims to give new meaning both to Hegel as interpreted from today, and to the social sciences. Seen from this perspective, such phenomena as cooperation in games, personal identity or justice in the version of Amartya Sen's 'realization-focused comparisons' are reinscribed into the logic of institutional theory. This 'Hegel' clearly goes beyond the limits of philosophical discussion and becomes a decisive reference for economists, sociologists, political scientists and other scholars who study the foundations and consequences of human sociality and try to explore and design the institutions necessary for a worthy common life.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Setting the Scene: Hegel and economics 2. Hegelian Principles of Economics 3. The Institutional Nature of Economic Action 4. Hegel, Ethics and Economics 5. Hegelian Economics in a Pragmatic Mode: Performing the economy

About the Authors

Carsten Herrmann-Pillath is Research Professor of Economics and Evolutionary Sciences at Witten/Herdecke University, Germany; Long Term Fellow at Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, Erfurt University, Germany and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Schwarzman Scholars at Tsinghua University, China

Ivan Boldyrev is an Associate Professor, National Research University Higher School of Economics, and Visiting Researcher, Humboldt University, Berlin.

About the Series

Routledge Frontiers of Political Economy

In recent years, there has been widespread criticism of mainstream economics. This has taken many forms, from methodological critiques of its excessive formalism, to concern about its failure to connect with many of the most pressing social issues. This series provides a forum for research which is developing alternative forms of economic analysis. Reclaiming the traditional 'political economy' title, it refrains from emphasising any single school of thought, but instead attempts to foster greater diversity within economics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Theory
PHILOSOPHY / Political