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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1997

Lewis E. Hill

Aims to describe and to explicate the economic thought of two creative and profound scholars who are in the tradition of institutionalism: Clarence Edwin Ayres and John…

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Abstract

Aims to describe and to explicate the economic thought of two creative and profound scholars who are in the tradition of institutionalism: Clarence Edwin Ayres and John Kenneth Galbraith. Analyses the major scholarly works of each of these insightful interpreters of the contemporary social and political economy and compares and contrasts them in such a manner as to reveal the similarities and differences between their respective systems of economic thought. Divides into five parts: the introduction, a section on the theories of Ayres and one on the theories of Galbraith, a comparison of the respective works of Ayres and Galbraith in which the similarities and differences are specified, and the conclusion.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 24 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 8 April 2015

Malcolm Rutherford

This paper is an initial attempt to discuss the American institutionalist movement as it changed and developed after 1945. Institutionalism in the inter-war period was a…

Abstract

This paper is an initial attempt to discuss the American institutionalist movement as it changed and developed after 1945. Institutionalism in the inter-war period was a relatively coherent movement held together by a set of general methodological, theoretical, and ideological commitments (Rutherford, 2011). Although institutionalism always had its critics, it came under increased attack in the 1940s, and faced challenges from Keynesian economics, a revived neoclassicism, econometrics, and from new methodological approaches derived from various versions of positivism. The institutionalist response to these criticisms, and particularly the criticism that institutionalism “lacked theory,” is to be found in a variety of attempts to redefine institutionalism in new theoretical or methodological terms. Perhaps the most important of these is to be found in Clarence AyresThe Theory of Economic Progress (1944), although there were many others. These developments were accompanied by a significant amount of debate, disagreement, and uncertainty over future directions. Some of this is reflected in the early history of The Association for Evolutionary Economics.

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Documents from F. Taylor Ostrander at Oxford, John R. Commons' Reasonable Value
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84663-906-7

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1992

Lewis E. Hill

Evaluates the significance of Clarence Edwin Ayres′ contribution tothe historical development of the institutionalist school of economicthought. Summarizes Ayres

Abstract

Evaluates the significance of Clarence Edwin Ayres′ contribution to the historical development of the institutionalist school of economic thought. Summarizes Ayres′ philosophy of pragmatic instrumentalism and integrates it into his theory of economic progress, which is disaggregated into its component parts: his theory of normative value; his theory of economic causation; and his theory of economic policy. Thoroughly explicates and carefully evaluates each of these theories. Concludes that Clarence Ayres has made an important contribution to the history of institutionalism by synthesizing the pragmatic philosophy of C.S. Peirce, William James, and John Dewey with the institutional economics of Thorstein B. Veblen, John R. Commons, and Wesley C. Mitchell.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1982

“Communism has never concealed the fact that it rejects all absolute concepts of morality. It scoffs at any consideration of “good” and “evil” as indisputable categories…

Abstract

“Communism has never concealed the fact that it rejects all absolute concepts of morality. It scoffs at any consideration of “good” and “evil” as indisputable categories. Communism considers morality to be relative, to be a class matter… It has infected the whole world with the belief in the relativity of good and evil.” Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, Warning to the West, 1975.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 September 2018

Vladislav Valentinov, Stefan Hielscher, Sebastian Everding and Ingo Pies

Public debates on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are strongly influenced by the nongovernmental organization (NGO)-led advocacy, most of which is harshly…

Abstract

Purpose

Public debates on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are strongly influenced by the nongovernmental organization (NGO)-led advocacy, most of which is harshly critical of genetic engineering. This advocacy has resulted in discourse failures marked by the disregard for the scientific consensus on the risks and benefits of GMOs. This paper aims to present a theoretical inquiry into this phenomenon.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on American institutionalism and Niklas Luhmann social systems theory, the paper explains these discourse failures in terms of the problematic relationship between institutions and technology.

Findings

Clarence Ayres would likely see these discourse failures as a form of “institutional resistance” to the progress of science and technology. In contrast, Marc Tool’s social value principle stresses the importance of democratic legitimation and public acceptance of new technologies, while being sensitive to the possibility of ideologically biased discourses. It is argued that the institutionalist understanding of the interplay between democracy, science and technology would benefit from a better account of Niklas Luhmann’s concept of “complexity reduction”.

Social implications

The study shows that some NGOs are powerful enough to actively shape, if not manipulate, public attitudes and sentiments against GMOs.

Originality/value

The case of the anti-GMO advocacy calls for a new conceptualization of how democracy, science and technology fit together.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 48 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

Abstract

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Documents on Modern History of Economic Thought: Part C
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76230-998-6

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1987

Lewis E. Hill

A widely accepted belief holds that social economics is logically inconsistent with the pragmatic philosophy. This view has been very clearly and forcibly expressed by…

Abstract

A widely accepted belief holds that social economics is logically inconsistent with the pragmatic philosophy. This view has been very clearly and forcibly expressed by Mark A. Lutz at the Third World Congress for Social Economics. Lutz has summarised his conclusions in the following quotation:

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 14 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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