Economics and the Limits of Optimization: Steps Towards Extending Bernard Hodgson's Moral Science [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 108 (1):37-48 (2012)
Abstract
In this essay, my point of departure is Bernard Hodgson’s analysis of neo-classical economic theory and his demonstration that neo-classical economic thought is already a branch of normative theory. I undertake to broaden the demonstration by showing that other contemporary conceptions of economics are also irreducibly normative. The essay begins with an overview of Hodgson’s argument strategy, and a discussion of his thesis that economics is a moral science. This illustrates in what way moral presuppositions are at play as core principles that both positivist and normativist economics take for granted. My strategy is to show that alternative conceptions of economics, in particular Schumpeterian accounts of evolution/innovation, and orthodox versions of ecological economics, share with classical and neo-classical economics normative assumptions about the common good, extending Hodgson’s thesis to one about moral science . For then these assumptions (both moral and scientific ) commit economics to unworkable notions of social and environmental optimization that ignore the pure historical contingency of physical, economic, social and cultural conditions. It is concluded that the relationship between facts and values must be fundamentally retheorized.
Keywords Normative economics  Optimization  Neo-classical economics  Innovation  Production theory  Ecological economics
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,561
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
G. Deleuze (2000). The Logic of Sense. Filosoficky Casopis 48 (5):799-808.

View all 10 references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Uskali Mäki (1996). Two Portraits of Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 3 (1):1-38.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-11-03

Total downloads

2 ( #343,262 of 1,098,129 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #172,576 of 1,098,129 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.