The essays by Sauer and Cassidy have argued that significant questions can be raised philosophically and historically about the guiding assumptions of economic behaviour. One can also argue that these assumptions offer a partial view of human being with an accompanying loss of the sense of the whole person. Economics tends to reduce the multiform and rich notion of person to simply a datum of economic activity. In this essay, I will argue that there is a need to re‐examine basic assumptions about what it means to be fully human. I will do this from the perspective of developmental psychology, because developmental psychology has empirically based theories that produce expectations about humanity and the future that are very different from those ascribed by economics. This essay will examine developmental theory, particularly that of Robert Kegan, to show its relevance to providing a direction for economics.
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