1st Edition

Intangible Flow Theory in Economics Human Participation in Economic and Societal Production

By Tiago Cardao-Pito Copyright 2021
    334 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    334 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    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.

    "This book by Tiago Cardao-Pito contains many significant achievements. Most importantly, it provides a novel perspective for appreciating the reality of socioeconomic provisioning processes that has the potential to refine our ontological conceptions, without constraining established accounts."

    Jakob Kapeller, Accounting, Economics and Law: A Convivium

    "[T]his is a book that is impressive in the variety of topics addressed, ranging from sociology, political theory, economics, and, especially, classical philosophy and metaphysics...[T]he readership will encounter a well-grounded theoretical book that adds new complexities to the already contested economic theories on hedonism, rational choice, and, especially, the mastering of what empirical data can actually show."

    Felipe Torres, economic sociology: perspectives and conversations