Articles

Editor: Valentin Cojanu


Kenneth Boulding: A Friends' Economist

Robert H. Scott.
This paper examines Kenneth Boulding's (1910-1993) religious beliefs and argues he was one of the most prolific religious economists in the 20 th century. He was an enigmatic economist whose career spanned over six decades. He helped to establish the field of general systems and furthered peace studies and conflict and defense. His early work earned him the John Bates Clark medal in 1949. But behind Boulding's theoretical economics was a deep religious ideology. Strongly affected by World War I while growing up in Liverpool, England, Boulding became a lifelong pacifist. Raised Methodist, Boulding discovered Quakerism in high school. While Boulding published widely in the field of economics, he also published almost 100 articles in Quaker journals. Boulding's body of work in economics and Quakerism led to interesting crosspollination. His work on peace and conflict and defense were a direct result of his pacifism. Boulding's work shows deep concern for human betterment and prosperity that is seeped in his religious principles.

Pragmatic behaviour: pragmatism as a philosophy for behavioural economics

Pablo Garcés.
Behavioral economics offers an account of actual human behavior. Contrasting with the conventional normative approach to rationality, rational choice theory, describes the deviations from optimal decision making. These are attributed to failures in two systems, one in charge of automatic behavior (System 1) and the other responsible for reflective one (System 2). As important as this is, an elaboration of the interaction between them seems to be lacking. Philosophical pragmatism can contribute to address this want. It provides an evolutionary explanation of how people act accounting for the continuity of behavior including habitual and reflective action. The former is captured by habits and the latter directed towards objects. Additionally, it proposes a dialogical self, consisting of an interaction between the 'I', denoting impulse, and the 'me', referring to reflective action. As such, pragmatism can provide fertile ground on which to cultivate behavioral insights.

Justice and just price in Francisco de Vitoria's Commentary on Summa Theologica II-II q77

José Luis Cendejas Bueno.
Following Thomas Aquinas, Francisco de Vitoria's analysis of justice in exchanges takes place by commenting on the corresponding questions of the Summa Theologica. The identification of the just price with that of common estimation occurs under a sufficient concurrence of sellers and buyers. A high level of concurrence limits the ability to take advantage of the need on the other side of the market. This fact guaranties a full consent of the parties involved in trading. Under conditions of market power or when some authority fixes a legal price, just price should also be taken as a normative ideal.

Neoliberal governmentality, knowledge work, and thumos

Benda Hofmeyr.
Research has shown that the knowledge worker, the decisive driver of the knowledge economy, works increasingly longer hours. In fact, it would appear that instead of working to live, they live to work. There appears to be three reasons for this living-to-work development. First, the knowledge worker ‘has to’ on account of the pressure to become ever more efficient. Such pressure translates into internalized coercion in the case of the self-responsible knowledge worker. Secondly, working is constant, because the Internet and smart technologies and mobile devices have made it ‘possible’. It gives the worker the capacity and management omnipotent control. In the final instance, the neoliberal knowledge worker works all the time because s/he paradoxically ‘wants to’. It is a curious phenomenon, because this compulsive working is concomitant with a rise of a host of physical, emotional, and psychological disorders as well as the erosion of social bonds. The paradox is exacerbated by the fact that the knowledge worker does not derive any of the usual utilities or satisfactions associated with hard work. Elsewhere I have ascribed this apparent contradiction at the heart of the living-to-work phenomenon to the invisible thumotic satisfaction generated by knowledge work. In the present article, I argue that neoliberal governmentality has found a way to tether thumos directly to the profit incentive. I draw on Foucault’s 1978-1979 Collége de France lecture course in […]

Method and scope in Joseph A. Schumpeter's economics: a pluralist perspective

Turan Yay.
This study aims to evaluate the ideas on the scope and method of economics of Joseph Schumpeter who is one of the important economists of the 20th century. The study consists of four sections: In the first section we underline the interesting points of his life to understand the roots, background, or 'vision' of his thought system. In the second section, we will examine his methodological views that he asserted in his first (but translated into English only in 2010) book. Third section will be concerned with his 'analysis of economics' which refers to his critics of Leon Walras's general equilibrium analysis (as static) and his own alternative (dynamics analysis of capitalist economies) about the central subject matter of economics. In the fourth section we will treat his approach about the development/evolution process of economic thought in time. The study concludes with a brief assessment: Schumpeter is one of the rare economists who can build his own thought system in the history of economics, and he embraced a pluralist perspective in the field of the methodology of economics.

A critical note on the scientific conception of economics: claiming for a methodological pluralism

Rouven Reinke.
Opponents of mainstream economics have not yet called attention to the lack of in-depth examination of the general scientific conception of modern economics. However, economic science cannot consistently fulfil the epistemological and ontological requirements of the scientific standards underlying this conception. What can be scientifically recognized as true cannot be answered, neither through the actual ontological structure of the object of observation nor through a methodological demarcation. These limitations necessarily lead to the claim for both a pragmatic and a radical methodological pluralism.

The apodictic method and the dialogue between theology and science (I)

Fr Petre Comşa ; Costea Munteanu.
Many today’s scientists think that religion can never come to terms with science. In sharp contrast to the widespread opinion, the authors of this paper consider that historically scientific reasoning and religious belief joined hands in their effort to investigate and understand reality. In fact, the current divorce between science and religion is nothing else than the final outcome of a gradual long-term, and deliberately assumed process of science secularization of science. However, especially during the last decades, we have all been equally confronted with the advance of a new concern over the fact that contemporary scientists have been approaching an area of investigation that had been usually addressed by the theological thought. This recent development has generated an emerging new field of investigation of Science and Religion within modern scientific epistemology.Against this background, the purpose of this paper is three-fold: firstly, to briefly emphasize that one of the defining dimensions of the dialogue between science and religion is given by the discontinuity, in which, the knowledge acquired through scientific reasoning is placed in relation to the divinely revealed knowledge; secondly, to argue that another defining dimension of the dialogue consists in the hierarchical harmony mediating the encounter between the two, thus transgressing the discontinuity and making the dialogue between theology and science possible and viable; and thirdly, to advocate the […]