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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1992

John Conway O'Brien

A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balanceeconomics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary toman′s finding the good life and society…

Abstract

A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balance economics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary to man′s finding the good life and society enduring as a civilized instrumentality. Looks for authority to great men of the past and to today′s moral philosopher: man is an ethical animal. The 13 essays are: 1. Evolutionary Economics: The End of It All? which challenges the view that Darwinism destroyed belief in a universe of purpose and design; 2. Schmoller′s Political Economy: Its Psychic, Moral and Legal Foundations, which centres on the belief that time‐honoured ethical values prevail in an economy formed by ties of common sentiment, ideas, customs and laws; 3. Adam Smith by Gustav von Schmoller – Schmoller rejects Smith′s natural law and sees him as simply spreading the message of Calvinism; 4. Pierre‐Joseph Proudhon, Socialist – Karl Marx, Communist: A Comparison; 5. Marxism and the Instauration of Man, which raises the question for Marx: is the flowering of the new man in Communist society the ultimate end to the dialectical movement of history?; 6. Ethical Progress and Economic Growth in Western Civilization; 7. Ethical Principles in American Society: An Appraisal; 8. The Ugent Need for a Consensus on Moral Values, which focuses on the real dangers inherent in there being no consensus on moral values; 9. Human Resources and the Good Society – man is not to be treated as an economic resource; man′s moral and material wellbeing is the goal; 10. The Social Economist on the Modern Dilemma: Ethical Dwarfs and Nuclear Giants, which argues that it is imperative to distinguish good from evil and to act accordingly: existentialism, situation ethics and evolutionary ethics savour of nihilism; 11. Ethical Principles: The Economist′s Quandary, which is the difficulty of balancing the claims of disinterested science and of the urge to better the human condition; 12. The Role of Government in the Advancement of Cultural Values, which discusses censorship and the funding of art against the background of the US Helms Amendment; 13. Man at the Crossroads draws earlier themes together; the author makes the case for rejecting determinism and the “operant conditioning” of the Skinner school in favour of the moral progress of autonomous man through adherence to traditional ethical values.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 19 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1985

Tomas Riha

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and…

2080

Abstract

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and, conversely, innovative thought structures and attitudes have almost always forced economic institutions and modes of behaviour to adjust. We learn from the history of economic doctrines how a particular theory emerged and whether, and in which environment, it could take root. We can see how a school evolves out of a common methodological perception and similar techniques of analysis, and how it has to establish itself. The interaction between unresolved problems on the one hand, and the search for better solutions or explanations on the other, leads to a change in paradigma and to the formation of new lines of reasoning. As long as the real world is subject to progress and change scientific search for explanation must out of necessity continue.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 12 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Book part
Publication date: 19 February 2020

Cosma Orsi

From 1782 to 1834, the English social legislation shifted from a safety net devised to deal with emergencies to a social security system implemented to cope with the…

Abstract

From 1782 to 1834, the English social legislation shifted from a safety net devised to deal with emergencies to a social security system implemented to cope with the threat of unemployment and poverty. In the attempt to explain this shift, this chapter concentrates on the changed attitudes toward poverty and power relationships in eighteenth-century British society. Especially, it looks at the role played by eighteenth-century British economic thinkers in elaborating arguments in favor of reducing the most evident asymmetries of power characterizing the period of transition from Mercantilism to the Classical era. To what extent did economic thinkers contribute to creating an environment within which a social legislation aimed at improving the living conditions of the poor as the one established in 1795 could be not only envisaged but also implemented? In doing so, this chapter deals with an aspect often undervalued and/or overlooked by historians of economic thought: namely, the relationship between economic theory and social legislation. If the latter is the institutional framework by which both individual and collective well-being can be achieved the former cannot but assume a fundamental role as a useful abstraction which sheds light on the multifaceted reality in which social policies are proposed, forged, and eventually implemented.

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Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Symposium on Public Finance in the History of Economic Thought
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-699-5

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Abstract

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The Backpacker Tourist: A Contemporary Perspective
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-256-0

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1981

John C. O'Brien

The purpose of this article is expository in the main; critical to a lesser degree. It will attempt to show how Karl Marx, enraged by the imperfections and inhumanity of…

1513

Abstract

The purpose of this article is expository in the main; critical to a lesser degree. It will attempt to show how Karl Marx, enraged by the imperfections and inhumanity of the capitalist society, “fought” for its supersession by the communist society on which he dwelt so fondly, that society which would emerge from the womb of a dying capitalism. It asks such questions as these: Is it possible to create the truly human society envisaged by Marx? Is perfection of man and society a mere will‐o'‐the‐wisp? A brief analysis, therefore, of the imperfections of capitalism is undertaken for the purpose of revealing the evils which Marx sought to eliminate by revolution of the most violent sort. In this sense, the nature of man under capitalism is analysed. Marx found the breed wanting, in a word, dehumanised. An attempt is, therefore, made to discuss the new man of Marxism, man's own creation, and the traits of that new man, one freed at last from the alienating effects of private property, division of labour, money, and religion. Another question that springs to mind is this: how does Marx propose to transcend alienation?

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 8 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Book part
Publication date: 30 October 2020

Maurício C. Coutinho and Carlos Eduardo Suprinyak

Though contemporaries, Adam Smith and Sir James Steuart are commonly portrayed as if they belonged to different eras. Whereas Smith went down in history as both founder of…

Abstract

Though contemporaries, Adam Smith and Sir James Steuart are commonly portrayed as if they belonged to different eras. Whereas Smith went down in history as both founder of the science of political economy and patron saint of economic liberalism, Steuart became known as the last, outdated advocate for mercantilist policies in Britain. Smith himself was responsible for popularizing the notion of the “system of commerce” as an approach to political economy that dominated the early modern period. As a historiographical concept, the mercantile system became a misguided international trade theory grounded upon the Midas fallacy and the favorable balance of trade doctrine. Smith’s treatment of international trade in the Wealth of Nations, however, was criticized for its inconsistencies and lack of analytical clarity even by some among his own followers. Given Smith’s doubtful credentials as an international trade theorist, the chapter investigates the reasons that led him and Steuart to be placed on opposite sides of the mercantilist divide. The authors analyze the works of both authors in depth, showing that their disagreements had chiefly to do with different views on money and monetary policy. Additionally, the authors explore how early nineteenth-century writers such as Jean-Baptiste Say and J. R. McCulloch helped forge the intellectual profiles of both Steuart and Smith.

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Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology: Including a Symposium on Sir James Steuart: The Political Economy of Money and Trade
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-707-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1990

Thomas O. Nitsch

In previous efforts the author has examined the various“men” of economics or human‐nature assumptions of“economic thinkers” as a way of treating the history andphilosophy…

Abstract

In previous efforts the author has examined the various “men” of economics or human‐nature assumptions of “economic thinkers” as a way of treating the history and philosophy of the discipline. Here, under the thematic penumbra of “Man as the Centre of the Social Economy”, and hoping to incorporate the fruits of further inquiry into the matter, those “creatures” and their fashioners are critically reconsidered with a view towards arriving at a more adequate conception of a truly human “economiser” and – accordingly – science of human economy. In Part II, having presented homo oeconomicus in both his/her “impudent” and “honourable” versions, we shall attempt to transcend homo socioeconomicus and even our own (former) homo oeconomicus humanus as well.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 17 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Histories of Economic Thought
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-997-9

Book part
Publication date: 7 May 2019

Mauro Boianovsky

This article provides a detailed investigation of how Lewis revisited classical and Marxian concepts such as productive/unproductive labor, economic surplus, subsistence…

Abstract

This article provides a detailed investigation of how Lewis revisited classical and Marxian concepts such as productive/unproductive labor, economic surplus, subsistence wages, reserve army, and capital accumulation in his investigation of economic development. The Lewis 1954 development model is compared to other models advanced at the time by Harrod, Domar, Swan, Kaldor, Solow, von Neumann, Nurkse, Rosenstein-Rodan, Myint, and others. Lewis applied the notion of economic duality to open and closed economies.

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Including A Symposium on 50 Years of the Union for Radical Political Economics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-849-9

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