The dominant economic explanations of the 20th century are not comprehensive enough to describe the complexity of economy and society and their reliance on the biosphere. Intangible Flow Theory in Economics: Human Participation in Economic and Societal Production outlines a new theory that challenges both economics and the relativism conveyed in social constructivism, poststructuralism and postmodernism.
To mainstream economics and Marxism, monetary flows transform us humans into commodities. To this new theory, flows of economic elements as physical goods or money are consummated by intangible flows that cannot yet be precisely appraised at an actual or approximate value, for instance, workflows, service flows, information flows or communicational flows. The theory suggests a systematic alternative to refute the human commodity framework and interrelated conjectures (e.g. human capital, human resources, human assets). Furthermore, it exhibits that economic and societal production is fully integrated on the biosphere. Conversely, contemporary relativism argues for the end of theory development, suspension of evidence and entrenchment of knowledge validity among local systems (named as paradigms, epistemes, research programs, truth regimes or other terms). Thus, relativism tacitly supports dominant theories as the human commodity framework because it preventively sabotages the creation of new theoretical explanations. Disputing relativist theses, intangible flow theory demonstrates that innovative theoretical explanations remain possible.
This book is of significant interest to students and scholars of political economy, economic sociology, organization, economics and social theory.
Table of Contents
Part 1. Introduction
1. A new theory, economics and relativism
Part 2. Intangible Flow Theory
2. Introducing Intangible Flow Theory
3. Monetary flows and commodities
4. New scientific law: We humans are not commodities, assets, capital or resources
5. Operating product flows enhancing human survival and existence
6. Non-deconstructable flows and countering relativism
Part 3. Origins of the human commodity framework in mainstream economics and Marxism
7. Adam Smith’s synthesis and the human commodity framework
8. Theory of human in mainstream economics: Utilitarianism as hedonism allegedly measurable in money
9. Intangible Flow Theory is not aligned with quantitative nor qualitative utilitarianism
10. Ricardo, Malthus, and the human commodity framework into context
11. Prototypes of hedonist arguments
12. Hedonist theory of value, production and existence emerges
13. Humans, human flows and Mother Nature integrated upon the hedonist market parable
14. Human commodity framework origins and its possible elimination
Tiago Cardao-Pito is an assistant professor at ISEG, Universidade de Lisboa (University of Lisbon), Portugal.