The Life-Blind Structure of the Neoclassical Paradigm: A Critique of Bernard Hodgson's "Economics as a Moral Science"
Journal of Business Ethics 44 (4):377 - 389 (2003)
|Abstract||This paper achieves two general objectives. It first analyses Bernard Hodgson's "Economic As Moral Science" as a path-breaking internal critique of neo-classical economic theory, and it then demonstrates that the underlying neo-classical paradigm he presupposes suffers from a deeper-structural myopia than his standpoint recognizes. EMS mainly exposes the a priori moral prescriptions underlying orthodox consumer choice theory - namely, its classical utilitarian ground and four or, as argued here, five hidden universal categorical-ought prescriptions which the theory presupposes as instrumental imperatives: (1) comparability evaluations by all consumer judgements; (2) non-satiety of consumer desire; (3) consistency and transitivity of consumer preferences; (4) diminishing rate of marginal substitution by consumer choice; and (5) an unlimited aggregate growth of commodity production, or "the liberal growth ethic". The article argues that Hodgson's refutation of the neo-classical claims of "value neutral scientific method" is sound, that his bridging of the Humean reason-desire divide by the "rational review" of wants is resonantly demonstrated, and that his argument for conversion of an "a priori-cum-normative-cum-idealized" neoclassical theory into scientific status is logically plausible but morally abhorrent. The principal objection to Hodgson's magisterial exposé of neo-classical doctrine's moral a priorism is that the latter's normative presuppositions are profoundly deranged at a level that he himself assumes as given. In consequence, there is theoretical closure at three levels: (1) to the underlying "life economy" of non-priced and non-profit production and distribution of goods otherwise in short supply; (2) to the "civil commons" infrastructure sustaining these non-commodity systems of social and ecological production and distribution; and (3) to the systemic despoiling of both by monetized market mechanisms which are falsely assumed as the defining limits of "the economy".|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||No categories specified (fix it)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
David Geoffrey Holdsworth (2012). Economics and the Limits of Optimization: Steps Towards Extending Bernard Hodgson's Moral Science. Journal of Business Ethics 108 (1):37-48.
Bernard Hodgson (2005). Thinking and Acting Outside the Neo-Classical Economic Box: Reply to McMurtry. Journal of Business Ethics 56 (3):289 - 303.
John Douglas Bishop (2012). The Elephant in the Room: On the Absence of Corporations in Bernard Hodgson's Economics as a Moral Science. Journal of Business Ethics 108 (1):27-35.
Dennis Badeen (2012). Bernard Hodgson's Trojan Horse Critique of Neoclassical Economics and the Second Phase of the Empiricist Level of Analysis. Journal of Business Ethics 108 (1):15-25.
Peter J. Boettke (1990). Individuals and Institutions. Critical Review 4 (1-2):10-26.
Bernard J. Hodgson (2001). Can the Beast Be Tamed?: Reflections on John McMurtry's Unequal Freedoms: The Global Market as an Ethical System. Journal of Business Ethics 33 (1).
Bernard Hodgson (1988). Economic Science and Ethical Neutrality II: The Intransigence of Evaluative Concepts. Journal of Business Ethics 7 (5):321 - 335.
John McMurtry (2001). Life-Value Economics Vs. The Neo-Classical Paradigm: Reply to Hodgson. Journal of Business Ethics 33 (1).
Milan Zafirovski (2000). The Rational Choice Generalization of Neoclassical Economics Reconsidered: Any Theoretical Legitimation for Economic Imperialism? Sociological Theory 18 (3):448-471.
Bernard Hodgson (1983). Economic Science and Ethical Neutrality: The Problem of Teleology. Journal of Business Ethics 2 (4):237 - 253.
Diane Swanson (1992). A Critical Evaluation of Etzioni's Socioeconomic Theory: Implications for the Field of Business Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics 11 (7):545 - 553.
Michael Moehler & Geoffrey Brennan (2010). Neoclassical Economics. In Mark Bevir (ed.), Encyclopedia of Political Theory. SAGE Publications.
John McMurtry (2012). Behind Global System Collapse: The Life-Blind Structure of Economic Rationality. Journal of Business Ethics 108 (1):49-60.
Spencer J. Pack (forthcoming). Aristotle's Difficult Relationship with Modern Economic Theory. Foundations of Science.
Added to index2011-05-29
Total downloads4 ( #180,507 of 556,907 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #39,122 of 556,907 )
How can I increase my downloads?