Complexity and the History of Economic Thought

Routledge
Free sample

A new approach to science has recently developed. It is called the complexity approach. A number of researchers, such as Brian Arthur and Buz Brock, have used this approach to consider issues in economics. This volume considers the complexity approach to economics from a history of thought and methodological perspectives. It finds that the ideas un
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Apr 13, 2000
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Pages
264
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ISBN
9781134785087
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / General
Business & Economics / Economics / Theory
Business & Economics / General
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A key issue in economic discourse today is the relation (or lack of it) between economic behaviour and morality. Few (presumably) would want to deny that human beings are in some sense moral or ethical creatures, but the devil is in the detail. Should we think of economic behaviour as an essentially amoral process – a process adequately characterised by a means-ends rationality – into which any number of subjective ethical concerns or orientations may be intruded to give a particular action its determinate moral content? Or is it rather the case that our moral being runs deeper than this, in the sense that all of our behaviour – ‘economic’ or otherwise – is enabled or capacitated by a competence that is fundamentally ethical in character?

With new analyses of the work of Hobbes and Smith, Dixon and Wilson offer a fresh approach to the debate surrounding economics and morality with a novel discussion of the self in economic theory. This book calls for a change in the way that the relation between economic behaviour and morality is understood – from an understanding of morality as a kind of preference that informs certain types of other-regarding behaviour (the way that modern economics understands the relationship), to an idea of morality as a competence that enables or, rather, conditions the possibility of all forms of human behaviour, other-regarding or not.

Offering a new insight on homo economicus, this book will be of great interest to all those interested in the history of economics and of economic thought.

Economists seem to be everywhere in the media these days. But what exactly do today's economists do? What and how are they taught? Updating David Colander and Arjo Klamer's classic The Making of an Economist, this book shows what is happening in elite U.S. economics Ph.D. programs. By examining these programs, Colander gives a view of cutting-edge economics--and a glimpse at its likely future. And by comparing economics education today to the findings of the original book, the new book shows how much--and in what ways--the field has changed over the past two decades. The original book led to a reexamination of graduate education by the profession, and has been essential reading for prospective graduate students. Like its predecessor, The Making of an Economist, Redux is likely to provoke discussion within economics and beyond.

The book includes new interviews with students at Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, Chicago, and Columbia. In these conversations, the students--the next generation of elite economists--colorfully and frankly describe what they think of their field and what graduate economics education is really like. The book concludes with reflections by Colander, Klamer, and Robert Solow.


This inside look at the making of economists will interest anyone who wants to better understand the economics profession. An indispensible tool for anyone thinking about graduate education in economics, this edition is complete with colorful interviews and predictions about the future of cutting-edge economics.

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