The Theory of the Individual in Economics: Identity and Value, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Theory of the Individual in Economics

Identity and Value, 1st Edition

By John B Davis


224 pages

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pub: 2003-03-20
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The concept of the individual and his/her motivations is a bedrock of philosophy. All strands of thought at heart come down to a particular theory of the individual. Economics, though, is guilty of taking this hugely important concept without questioning how we theorise it. This superb book remedies this oversight.

The new approach put forward by Davis is to pay more attention to what moral philosophy may offer us in the study of personal identity, self consciousness and will. This crosses the traditional boundaries of economics and will shed new light on the distinction between positive and normative analysis in economics. With both heterodox and orthodox economics receiving a thorough analysis from Davis, this book is at once inclusive and revealing.


‘John Davis has written a fascinating book … [his] critique is clear, elegant, and compelling … [he] earns high points for clarity, persuasiveness, scholarship, and style. Moreover, the reader who is uncommitted but open minded about mainstream and heterodox economics will find this a powerful and convincing book. It is an excellent choice for graduate students.’ – William Waller, Journal of Economic Issues

'Overall, this is a superb book. It is highly recommended as a meticulous and scholarly review of the literature.' - Geoffrey M. Hodgson, Economica

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements, 1. Framing the Issues Part 1 - Orthodox Economics 2. The Atomistic Individual 3. Re-identification: Preferences and Human Capital 4. Individuation: Multiple Selves 5. After the fall: The machinery of choice Part II - Heterodox Economics 6. The Embedded Individual 7. Individuation: Collective intentionality 8. Re-identification: Capabilities 9. Before the fall: Value in economics 10. Revising the issues, References, Index

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Social Economics

This series presents new advances and developments in social economics thinking on a variety of subjects that concern the link between social values and economics. Need, justice and equity, gender, cooperation, work, poverty, the environment, class, institutions, public policy, and methodology are some of the most important themes. Among the orientations of the authors are social economist, institutionalist, humanist, solidarist, cooperativist, radical and Marxist, feminist, post-Keynesian, behaviorist, and environmentalist. The series offers new contributions from today’s most foremost thinkers on the social character of the economy. 

Publishes in conjunction with the Association of Social Economics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Theory