Humanity and Nature in Economic Thought Searching for the Organic Origins of the Economy
Humanity and Nature in Economic Thought: Searching for the Organic Origins of the Economy argues that organic elements seen as incompatible with rational homo economicus have been left out of, or downplayed in, mainstream histories of economic thought.
The chapters show that organic aspects (that is, aspects related to sensitive, cognitive or social human qualities) were present in the economic ideas of a wide range of important thinkers including Hume, Smith, Malthus, Mill, Marshall, Keynes, Hayek and the Polanyi brothers. Moreover, the contributors to this thought-provoking volume reveal in turn that these aspects were crucial to how these key figures thought about the economy.
This stimulating collection of essays will be of interest to advanced students and scholars of the history of economic thought, economic philosophy, heterodox economics, moral philosophy and intellectual history.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Sympathies for Common Ends: The Principles of Organization in Hume’s Psychology and Political Economy
Chapter 3: Adam Smith on Organic Change in Moral Beliefs
Chapter 4: Malthusianism In and Out of Darwinism. Naturalising Society and Moralising Nature?
Antonello La Vergata
Chapter 5: J.S. Mill’s Understanding of the “Organic” Nature of Socialism
Chapter 6: The Concept of Organic Growth in Marshall’s Work
Neil B. Niman
Chapter 7: The Role of Keynes’s Idea of “Organic Unity” in his “General Theory” of Capitalism
Chapter 8: Unintended Order and Self-Organization in the Evolutionary Social Theory of Friedrich Hayek
Hilton L. Root
Chapter 9: The Politics of Naturalizing the Economy: Organic Aspects in the Economic Thought of Karl and Michael Polanyi
"...there is the splendid discussion by Antonello La Vergata of the relations between Darwinism and Malthusianism (chap. 4)...He emphasizes the moral dimension of the work of Malthus, a dimension that served as the link between the biological, the social, and the political sphere. It is this moral link on which social Darwinismis based and which, almost inevitably, leads to both the moralization of nature and the naturalization of society— phenomena the dangers of which La Vergata warns against...All in all, this volume is a collection of one fascinating [chap. 4] and a couple of (more or less) interesting essays."
Fritz Söllner, History of Political Economy