Brotéria 167 (4):243-263 (2008)

Pedro McDade
Universidade Católica Portuguesa
How does economics understand the human being? In this article, I present the current dominant conception of the human being in neoclassical theory, which is usually labelled as 'homo oeconomicus' (economic man). I describe the traits of this anthropology, and present the historical context in which it emerged. Then I make its critical evaluation. This is followed by a discussion of two recent alternative conceptions of the human being, which try to go beyond the individualist 'homo economicus' paradigm. I highlight the recent contributions of John B. Davis and Luigino Bruni. Finally I reflect on some elements of Christian anthropology which can contribute to enrich the conception of the person in economics.
Keywords homo oeconomicus  John B. Davis  Luigino Bruni  we-rationality  economy of communion  neoclassical theory
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