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Is there such a field as social economics? Let us begin by providing some justification (the sceptics may call this rationalisation) for asking the question. The very fact that we are gathered here in Fresno ought to be a reassurance that, indeed, there does exist such a field. But this reassurance amounts to little more than a Descartian feeling of, “I think, therefore I am”. Some people question implicitly or explicitly whether there is such a field of enquiry called social economics. If you think this statement needs empirical support, consider the following:
The term or title ‘social economics’ is by no means a new one, the American J. M. Clark, for example, used it as the title of a book published in 1936, and indeed there has been Hagenbuch's Cambridge Economics Handbook of that title first published in 1958. There does, however, appear to be an increasing recognition of the need for the development of a new approach to economic and social policy and problems that could, for the want of a better expression be termed socioeconomic in character. The evidence for this suggestion can be gathered from the very rapid growth of economic literature in the last few years dedicated to methodological problems and doubts about the wisdom of current trends, developments and values in the main discipline of economics. This increase of “anti‐economics” literature, of course provides only a negative rationale, but it can be seen to be in itself broadly reflective of certain fundamental changes in the nature of the social and economic parameters in contemporary advanced industrial society. Changes, it will be argued, that require a different and more integrated kind of social science approach to problems and policies than has hitherto been developed.
A comparative and critical examination of the methodology, goals and history of development of the field of Western social sciences in Islamic perspectives is presented. Economics is treated as a parallel case study in this respect. It is shown that the field of Western social sciences was the outcome of the revolt against the Church in the eighteenth century by the scholastic school to sever science from religion. Ever since, it has gained momentum also under the Cartesian philosophy of empiricism. Thus, the age‐long advance of the social sciences has shown increasing independence within each of its sub‐disciplines. An inward looking hegemony developed among the various sub‐disciplines. Such developments have made it increasingly difficult for the treatment of ethics and values as integrable elements in social investigation. The essence of a human analysis of social problems is thereby, misunderstood in modern social science analysis. The philosophy, nature and methodology of social investigation in Islamic framework are examined. It is argued that the Western concern with dichotomy between science and religion is not applicable to Islam. Consequently, there is a good possibility for studying social problems by an integrated approach among all the sub‐disciplines of the social sciences. This gives rise to an interdisciplinary study of social issues and problems and the development of a generalised social equilibrium system in the Islamic framework. We have developed one such comprehensive model endowed by its intrinsic Islamic ethics and values emanating fundamentally from the dynamic Quranic essence of the Unity of God in the working of the universe, “Al‐Tawhid”. The key principles and instruments are developed. The central role of the “shura” in functionally endowing the integrated study of social issues, is studied. In this context, the study of Islamic economics as one of Islamic political economy is examined. A specific economic problem in this area is explored. It is concluded that the approach of the Islamic social investigation and of Islamic political economy is what the future generation of social and economic thinkers will be working towards.
A precise definition of “social economics” has been the subject of much debate for the last 30 years and, as yet, there seems to be no general consensus of opinion. This…
A precise definition of “social economics” has been the subject of much debate for the last 30 years and, as yet, there seems to be no general consensus of opinion. This paper attempts to embrace the apparent pluralism of viewpoints as a temporary instrument to encourage critical debate and dialogue in order to work towards a unified concept of social economics.
In my original efforts, I designated and depicted no less than nine “men” of economics. Essentially, I contended, as man has always tended to create God in his own image…
In my original efforts, I designated and depicted no less than nine “men” of economics. Essentially, I contended, as man has always tended to create God in his own image and likeness, so economists have fashioned man largely in their discipline's perceived nature and scope. These generic homines economici, that is, have thus been and perhaps cannot really be other than economists' “men”, and the study thereof provides accordingly a meaningful alternative approach to the history, nature and scope of economics itself.
This article explores what is meant by social economics in a set of ten specific commentaries or interpretations which appear to be widely accepted by social economists…
This article explores what is meant by social economics in a set of ten specific commentaries or interpretations which appear to be widely accepted by social economists. In brief those commentaries are organized and presented in the following manner. Social economics is: heterodox; evolutionary, revolutionary, and counter‐revolutionary; a social science; a moral science; social economics because it addresses the social question; recognizes that the invisible hand does not protect the common good; anthropocentric; teleological; has vision; and has a three‐part structure. This article tends toward simplicity and brevity, the better to set forth the essential nature of social economics. Social economics is more than just a subspecialty area within or a branch of the tree of conventional economic thought. Rather social economics is an entire body of thought, a different way of thinking about economic affairs. It resembles mainstream economics in the same way that one tree resembles another. But it is a separate tree, with its own life force supplied by the scholarly energies of those who identify with social economics.
In her popular Development of Economic Analysis, Ingrid Rima writes early on of the “compatibility” of “emphasis on the state as an instrument to achieve socially optimal…
In her popular Development of Economic Analysis, Ingrid Rima writes early on of the “compatibility” of “emphasis on the state as an instrument to achieve socially optimal results…with what has come to be called social economics”. Subsequently (1978, p. 322; 1986, p. 396), she treats of J.M. Clark's “crucial” contribution to the development (1920s/1930s) of a new type of economics he describes as “social”. Similarly, George F. Rohrlich, in his 1970 introductory essay, “The Challenge of Social Economics”, wrote of “The emerging field of social economics”, and noted that “in the United States the term was used in the 1930s and occasionally thereafter”. More recently (1982), Samuel Cameron singles out Mark A. Lutz's 1980 USE contribution, e.g., for neglecting Charles Devas(op. cit., 1876–1907) “as a contributor to the founding of social economics”, while comparing Devas to “the modern social economist”.
A methodological study of religion including moral, ethical, and social values and economics takes us into the search, discovery, and establishment of a formal…
A methodological study of religion including moral, ethical, and social values and economics takes us into the search, discovery, and establishment of a formal epistemological premise. Social economics is now studied as a methodological investigation of evolutionary and embedded systems integrating the moral, social, and economic systems. Thus an integrated theory of religion representing the realm of moral and social values and economics is formalized. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
The author writes on the conjoint methodological perspective of the integrated domain of religion and economics. A formal ontology of the unified field of religion and economics is established in such an inter-causal and organically unified realm of moral, social, and economic values. A phenomenological model of the unified worldview that applies to a systemic concept of “everything” emerges. This methodology and the immanent phenomenological model relating to it convey the principle of inter-systemic organic symbiosis by a unique and universal worldview.
The systemic integration between religion and economics is formally studied within the immanent system methodology that formalizes inter-disciplinary symbiosis. The result is a new formal model of integration between religion and social economics.
Empirical work can further expand the scope of the paper.
Immense social, ethical, and cross-cultural implications emanate from the study.
The morality and ethical implications of religious values are imputed in the formal model and implications of the social economy.
The paper is of an original nature in establishing the episteme and formalism of integration between ethical and moral values of religion into the structure of the social economy. From this both a theoretical rigor as well as logical formalism can be drawn.
The article makes a comprehensive study of the development ofsocial economic thought in the history of economic doctrines. Traces ofsocial economic development are dated…
The article makes a comprehensive study of the development of social economic thought in the history of economic doctrines. Traces of social economic development are dated back to the Physiocrats and moral philosophers and reference is made to the early Arab works in the developments of these social economic doctrines. The social economic thought in the classical school of economic theory is critically studied. It is shown that with the advancement of economic theory in the hands of the neoclassical school and its latter‐day developments social economic doctrines receded from mainstream economics. The contemporary social economists in North America have fallen into the trap of these neoclassical approaches applied to the study of social economic phenomena. The article also shows that similar neoclassical and ethically neutral traces continue in the works of the mixed economy theorists, institutionalists, macroeconomists, monetarists, rational expectations hypothesists, public and social choice theorists of all types. Thus, the whole gamut of mainstream economics is shown to be trapped in an epistemological and methodological quandary as to how ethical phenomena are to be treated rationally in the framework of economic theory.
It is a pleasure and a privilege to participate in this special session to honour George F. Rohrlich, social economist. It is with a sense of humility that I accept this pleasant undertaking. George Rohrlich has taught, written, helped others to write, published, helped others to publish and edited works on different aspects of social economics. I attempt here to put together a few observation on the nature of social economics as revealed in his writings. This attempt is by its very nature a modest one. For, how can one do justice to the work of a man who has to his credit a dozen major works (books or monographs) and almost five dozen other writings (articles, papers, notes) not all of them in English? I do not, therefore, even pretend to take a comprehensive view of Rohrlich, the social economist.