O presente artigo objetiva refletir sobre os impactos da globalização econômica na cultura contemporânea. O processo acelerado de transformação da cultura e das relações sociais distingue-se de outros processos de mudança estrutural porque as mudanças no campo da economia desde a década de 1980 provocaram uma grave crise cultural. O que mais caracteriza os novos tempos é a expansão do mercado que se torna omniabrangente e omnipresente, transformando as relações humanas em relações de mercado. Globalização neoliberal e a expansão do (...) mercado se articulam e isso gera profunda crise da cultura. A racionalização produzida pela modernidade reduziu o ser humano e a natureza aos interesses produtivos. A crise na primeira modernidade faz emergir outra redução: a razão substituida pela sensação. Daí caminha-se para um radical individualismo, até ao indiferentismo e a recusa de se buscar um sentido ou significado para a experiência e a vida humana. Essa realidade oferece riscos para o Cristianismo e as religiões. Elas podem ceder à tentação do mercado, à satisfação do desejo, do gozo superegóico, com dupla conseqüência: ou oferecendo uma religião de consumo e da prosperidade econômica, ou o fundamentalismo que leva os fiéis à renunciarem à sua autonomia e se submeterem às lideranças religiosas da “Ordem Simbólica”. Na conclusão o artigo apresenta as mais recentes críticas do cristianismo a essa realidade, retomando o pensamento de João XXIII, Paulo VI e João Paulo II. Palavras-chave : Cristianismo; Globalização; Economia; Cultura Contemporânea, Ensino Social da IgrejaThis article aims to reflect on the impacts of globalization economy in contemporary culture. The accelerated transformation of culture and of social relations differs from other processes of structural changes because change in the field of economy have caused serious cultural crisis since the 1980s. What best characterizes the new era is the expansion of market that has increasingly been “all embracing” and “omnipresent”, thus transforming human relations in market relations. Neoliberal globalization and the expansion of market articulate themselves thus producing a deep crisis of culture. Rationalization produced by modernity has reduced human being and nature to productive interests. Crisis in early modernity brings out another reduction: the one of reason replaced by sensation. In this way one can say that it has emerged a radical individualism and even a kind of indifferentism as well as the refusal to look for a sense or a meaning to the experience and human life. This reality presents some risks to Christianity and religions. They may succumb to the temptation of the market, satisfaction of desire and hiper egoic enjoyment, with double consequence: or by offering a religion based on consumerism and on economic prosperity, or by offering a fundamentalistic perspective that leads believers to renounce their autonomy and submit themselves to the religious leaders of the "Symbolic Order ". This articles ends up by presenting the most recent criticism of Christianity to this reality, returning to the thought of the popes John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II.] Key words : Christianity; Globalizing; Economics; Contemporary culture, Church’s Social Teaching. (shrink)
"Written in a racy, persuasive style, the book impresses the reader as a work of significant scholarship...I encourage students of comparative religions- and especially those of Islamic economics- to read it with great care."&$151; Islamic Studies The worlds of economics and theology rarely intersect. The former appears occupied exclusively with the concrete equations of supply and demand, while the latter revolves largely around the less tangible concerns of the soul and spirit. Intended as an interfaith clarification of the (...) relationship between the material and the spiritual worlds, this volume first inspects secular beliefs about the relationship between economics and ethics. Exploring the differences and similarities between the treatment of economic issues in each of the great monotheistic religions, Rodney Wilson reveals how each tradition considers such subjects as individual wealth, lending, economic regulation, usury, insurance capitalism, socialism, and banking. He concludes with an intriguing epilogue on the rapidly expanding field of business ethics. (shrink)
The changing situation in South Africa and Eastern Europe prompts Charles Villa-Vicencio to investigate the implications of transforming liberation theology into a theology of reconstruction and nation-building. Such a transformation, he argues, requires theology to become an unambiguously interdisciplinary study. This book explores the encounter between theology, on the one hand, and constitutional writing, law-making, human rights, economics, and the freedom of conscience on the other. Placing his discussion in the context of the South African struggle, the author compares (...) this situation to that in Eastern Europe, and the challenge of what is happening in these situations is identified for contexts where "the empire has not yet crumbled.". (shrink)
In this addition to the Church and Postmodern Culture series, theologian Daniel Bell compares and contrasts capitalism and Christianity, showing how Christianity provides resources for faithfully navigating the postmodern global economy.Bell approaches capitalism and Christianity as alternative visions of humanity, God, and the good life. Considering faith and economics in terms of how desire is shaped, he casts the conflic as one between different disciplines desire. He engages the work of two important postmodern philosophers, Deleuze and (...) Foucault, to illuminate the nature of the postmodern world that the church currently inhabits. Bell then considers how the global economy deforms desire in a manner that distorts human relations with God and one another. In contrast, he presents Christianity and the tradition of the works of mercy as a way beyond capitalism and socialism, beyond philanthropy and welfare. Christianity heals desire, renewing human relations and enabling communion with God. (shrink)
This collection provides English readers with a critical update on current debates on biopolitics in and around Italian thought. More than a decade after the publication of seminal books such as Agamben’s Homo Sacer and Hardt and Negri’s Empire , the names of, among others, Roberto Esposito, Paolo Virno, Christian Marazzi, and Andrea Fumagalli have recently been brought to the attention of Anglophone scholars and political activists. Several authors have rightly emphasised the evanescent character of biopolitics, and the difficulty in (...) providing a definition of it that could embrace all the conflicting theories of its most celebrated critics and supporters. The present collection is structured around the basic contention that bio-economy, human nature, and Christianity are the three visible contemporary manifestations of the theoretical object/problem of biopolitics in, respectively, Italian post-workerist economics, post-Marxist philosophical anthropology, and post-structuralist ontology. This book was originally published as a special issue of Angelaki. (shrink)
This collection provides English readers with a critical update on current debates on biopolitics in and around Italian thought. More than a decade after the publication of seminal books such as Agamben’s _Homo Sacer_ and Hardt and Negri’s _Empire_, the names of, among others, Roberto Esposito, Paolo Virno, Christian Marazzi, and Andrea Fumagalli have recently been brought to the attention of Anglophone scholars and political activists. Several authors have rightly emphasised the evanescent character of biopolitics, and the difficulty in providing (...) a definition of it that could embrace all the conflicting theories of its most celebrated critics and supporters. The present collection is structured around the basic contention that bio-economy, human nature, and Christianity are the three visible contemporary manifestations of the theoretical object/problem of biopolitics in, respectively, Italian post-workerist economics, post-Marxist philosophical anthropology, and post-structuralist ontology. This book was originally published as a special issue of _Angelaki_. (shrink)
Tomas Sedlacek has shaken the study of economics as few ever have. Named one of the "Young Guns" and one of the "five hot minds in economics" by the Yale Economic Review, he serves on the National Economic Council in Prague, where his provocative writing has achieved bestseller status. How has he done it? By arguing a simple, almost heretical proposition: economics is ultimately about good and evil.In The Economics of Good and Evil, Sedlacek radically rethinks (...) his field, challenging our assumptions about the world. Economics is touted as a science, a value-free mathematical inquiry, he writes, but it's actually a cultural phenomenon, a product of our civilization. It began within philosophy--Adam Smith himself not only wrote The Wealth of Nations, but also The Theory of Moral Sentiments--and economics, as Sedlacek shows, is woven out of history, myth, religion, and ethics. "Even the most sophisticated mathematical model," Sedlacek writes, "is, de facto, a story, a parable, our effort to grasp the world around us." Economics not only describes the world, but establishes normative standards, identifying ideal conditions. Science, he claims, is a system of beliefs to which we are committed. To grasp the beliefs underlying economics, he breaks out of the field's confines with a tour de force exploration of economic thinking, broadly defined, over the millennia. He ranges from the epic of Gilgamesh and the Old Testament to the emergence of Christianity, from Descartes and Adam Smith to the consumerism in Fight Club. Throughout, he asks searching meta-economic questions: What is the meaning and the point of economics? Can we do ethically all that we can do technically? Does it pay to be good?Placing the wisdom of philosophers and poets over strict mathematical models of human behavior, Sedlacek's groundbreaking work promises to change the way we calculate economic value. (shrink)
Introduction -- Overview of the contemporary global context : life stories -- Data on poverty, hunger, and inequality in an age of globalization -- The goals and structure of this book -- Development theory and practice : an overview -- Origins of the concept of development -- Modernization theory -- Modernization theory and U.S. aid policy -- The impact of modernizationist development -- Structuralist economic theories -- Dependency theories -- Basic needs approach -- New international economic order -- Alternative development (...) -- The impact of reformist thought on development policy -- Neoliberal resurgence and structural adjustment policies -- Current debates in development studies -- The failures of modernizationist development : a closer look -- The impacts of colonialism and slavery -- Post-WW II development policies and the third world debt crisis -- Consequences of debt and structural adjustment -- Responses to the debt crisis -- United States opposition to social change in the third world -- Summary of major structural influences on the third world -- Catholic social teaching and development -- CST prior to Pope John XXIII -- Early reflections on development : John XXIII and Vatican II -- The pivotal contributions of Paul VI, the Latin American bishops, and justice in the world -- John Paul II : the centrality of solidarity -- The social ethics of Benedict XVI -- Summary of catholic social teaching on development issues -- Catholic social teaching and political economy : neoconservative and radical critiques -- Neoconservative reflections on CST -- Radical reflections on CST -- Evaluation of neoconservative, radical, and CST views -- Grassroots critics of development and neoliberal globalization -- Rejecting the quest for development - Vandana shiva : the violence of development and reductionist science -- Further issues in the development/globalization debates -- Reclaiming the commons : the positive visions of development critics -- Catholic social teaching, the radical tradition, and development critics -- Grassroots action and policy alternatives -- Grassroots organizations in the third world : an overview -- The impact of grassroots organizations -- Development policies : follow the nic model -- Alternative development policies -- Differing visions : alternative development vs. regeneration -- Prospects for the adoption of alternative policies -- Re-envisioning C atholic social teaching -- The contributions of CST to the development debate -- Enhancing Catholic social teaching -- Structural analysis of capitalism -- Women, development, and CST -- CST, modernization, and cultural diversity -- CST and ecology - CST, grassroots movements, and social struggle -- The church and social change -- Social criticism and pioneering creativity : how Christians can constructively address issues of development and globalization -- Education -- Lifestyle choices -- Responsible purchasing -- Responsible investment -- Organizing, activism, and aid provision -- Direct service/solidarity -- Responsible parenting -- Applying CST in the life of the church -- Concluding reflections -- Theological epilogue: The path of discipleship. (shrink)
This essay suggests that changes in economic practices which we associate with capitalism brought about deep changes in understandings of culture, and especially of Christianity; that, given that capitalism is driving global warming, changes in the way in which we structure the economy, which for many of us have religious roots, will have to be adopted if we are going to survive; that six priorities for an alternative economy may be identified.
Several areas of welfare economics seek to evaluate states of affairs as a function of interpersonally comparable individual utilities. The aim is to map each state of affairs onto a vector of individual utilities, and then to produce an ordering of these vectors that can be represented by a mathematical function assigning a real number to each. When this approach is used in intertemporal contexts, a central theoretical question concerns the evaluative weight to be applied to utility coming at (...) different times. This question concerns the rate of pure time preference, which is one key determinant of the social discount rate. This article argues that the standard philosophical account of pure time preference is mistaken, because it ascribes to economists a methodological commitment they need not, and often do not, accept. This in turn undercuts the most common philosophical objection to pure time preference, which traces at least to Rawls’s A Theory of Justice. The article then evaluates three further objections to pure time preference, concluding that it might still be defensible under certain circumstances. The article closes by articulating a final argument that is suggested by the “Social, Economic and Ethical Concepts and Methods” chapter of the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report. If this further argument is sound, it would constitute a decisive objection to pure time preference as it currently figures in much intertemporal welfare economics. (shrink)
The 1994 US spectrum auction is now a paradigmatic case of the successful use of microeconomic theory for policy-making. We use a detailed analysis of it to review standard accounts in philosophy of science of how idealized models are connected to messy reality. We show that in order to understand what made the design of the spectrum auction successful, a new such account is required, and we present it here. Of especial interest is the light this sheds on the issue (...) of progress in economics. In particular, it enables us to get clear on exactly what has been progressing, and on exactly what theory has – and has not – contributed to that. This in turn has important implications for just what it is about economic theory that we should value. (shrink)
To understand the human capacity for psychological altruism, one requires a proper understanding of how people actually think and feel. This paper addresses the possible relevance of recent findings in experimental economics and neuroeconomics to the philosophical controversy over altruism and egoism. After briefly sketching and contextualizing the controversy, we survey and discuss the results of various studies on behaviourally altruistic helping and punishing behaviour, which provide stimulating clues for the debate over psychological altruism. On closer analysis, these studies (...) prove less relevant than originally expected because the data obtained admit competing interpretations – such as people seeking fairness versus people seeking revenge. However, this mitigated conclusion does not preclude the possibility of more fruitful research in the area in the future. Throughout our analysis, we provide hints for the direction of future research on the question. (shrink)
Abstract: This paper examines Mark Blaug's position on the normative character of Paretian welfare economics: in general, and specifically with respect to his debate with Pieter Hennipman over this question during the 1990s. The paper also clarifies some of the confusions that emerged within the context of this debate, and closes by providing some additional arguments supporting Blaug's position that he himself did not provide.
This paper challenges Mäki's argument about commonsensibles by offering a case study from contemporary microeconomics – contemporary revealed preference theory (hereafter CRPT) – where terms like "preference," "utility," and to some extent "choice," are radical departures from the common sense meanings of these terms. Although the argument challenges the claim that economics is inhabited solely by commonsensibles, it is not inconsistent with such folk notions being common in economic theory.
The paper discusses the sense in which the changes undergone by normative economics in the twentieth century can be said to be progressive. A simple criterion is proposed to decide whether a sequence of normative theories is progressive. This criterion is put to use on the historical transition from the new welfare economics to social choice theory. The paper reconstructs this classic case, and eventually concludes that the latter theory was progressive compared with the former. It also briefly (...) comments on the recent developments in normative economics and their connection with the previous two stages. (Published Online April 18 2006) Footnotes1 This paper suspersedes an earlier one entitled “Is There Progress in Normative Economics?” (Mongin 2002). I thank the organizers of the Fourth ESHET Conference (Graz 2000) for the opportunity they gave me to lecture on this topic. Thanks are also due to J. Alexander, K. Arrow, A. Bird, R. Bradley, M. Dascal, W. Gaertner, N. Gravel, D. Hausman, B. Hill, C. Howson, N. McClennen, A. Trannoy, J. Weymark, J. Worrall, two annonymous referees of this journal, and especially the editor M. Fleurbaey, for helpful comments. The editor's suggestions contributed to determine the final orientation of the paper. The author is grateful to the LSE and the Lachmann Foundation for their support at the time when he was writing the initial version. (shrink)
The tone of this paper is largely critical. Therefore, I would like to begin by praising Donald McCloskey and Arjo Klamer for their exciting and provocative initiative in the metatheory of economics. They have done us a great favor by opening our eyes to some hidden aspects in the intellectual practices of economists. They have shown that economics is rhetoric; it is persuasion, discourse, conversation, and negotiation, to use their favorite phrases. They have provided plausible arguments and illuminating (...) examples to convince us of the literary character of economic reasoning, notwithstanding the formal languages used by economists and the positivist pretensions typical of the self-image of the discipline. However, McCloskey and Klamer have been less successful in trying to convince us of what economics is not. In particular, it concerns me that they have opened up a gap between rhetoric and realism. They seem to think that because economics has a rhetorical character, it cannot be understood in realist terms. I will argue that this view is mistaken: rhetoric and realism do not exclude each other, but rather they are capable of being combined in a coherent methodology of economics. It is a valuable contribution to import the insights of the newly rehabilitated rhetoric to the metatheory of economics; but it is unnecessary to marry them with enthusiasm about the fashionable anti-realism of Richard Rorty and others. While this is my overall thesis, it is clear that only initial steps towards its substantiation can be taken in this paper. I intend to proceed as follows. I will first make an attempt to locate the problem at hand in the history of the metatheory of economics. Then I will point out those elements in rhetorical metatheory as practiced and defended by Klamer and McCloskey that apparently have anti-realist or non-realist assumptions or implications, either directly or via considerations of scientific rationality. Next I will formulate a few concepts of realism, the differences between which have been ignored in the methodology of economics to this day. Then I will make preliminary attempts to inquire into the mutual compatibility of the rhetorical insights provided by McCloskey and Klamer and realism in this context. I will show that, in principle, there should be no insurmountable obstacles to combining the two; in some of its senses, realism will even turn out to be presupposed by the rhetorical approach. I do not primarily intend to argue for realism as such in this paper. Instead, I will argue for the compatibility of realism and rhetoric. The argument is based on Klamer's and McCloskey's own commitments; in this sense, the argument is immanent to their rhetorical approach. As a final point, I will argue that one should not be indifferent about realism: it does make a difference in economics and in the methodology of economics whether rhetoric is accepted with or without realism. (shrink)
Economics is a controversial scientific discipline. One of the traditional issues that has kept economists and their critics busy is about whether economic theories and models are about anything real at all. The critics have argued that economic models are based on assumptions that are so utterly unrealistic that those models become purely fictional and have nothing informative to say about the real world. Many also claim that an antirealist instrumentalism (allegedly outlined by Milton Friedman in 1953) justifying such (...) unrealistic models has become established as the semi-official practitioners' philosophy of conventional economics. Others argue that what is the case in the economy and the way economics relates to it are socially constructed such that there is no economics-independent way the world worls or truths about it. On both of these pictures, realism would seem to have little do with economics. These pictures are too simplistic. There is more realism in and about economics than first would appear. To see this requires not just looking mere closely, but also adjusting one's conception of scientific realism. It also requires taking a critical stance on much of what economicsts themselves and other commentators have claimed. Yet, historically, there is much wisdom available in the philosophical self-image of the discipline. (shrink)
Many participants in the debate over the current state and recent developments of economics make claims that are unrefined, simplistic, often exaggerated. This is understandable: the stakes are high, the issues trigger emotional responses, and few participants are motivated or equipped to seek more nuanced analyses. To assert, or to deny, that economics as a scientific discipline or a particular part of it (such as a model) is about reality – or refers to reality, represents it, is true (...) about it, or is truthlike about it – is to make a very complex and highly ambiguous claim. 1 The disputants often make claims that have parallels in the philosophical controversy between scientific realists and their opponents, or at any rate those claims can be partly analyzed in terms of some of the arguments presented in this philosophical controversy. The question addressed here is whether realism about economics is a viable position. The argument proceeds by way of refuting a number of arguments against realism about economics. I suggest a genuine controversy over the factuality of any particular strand or piece of economics requires realism as a general interpretation of economics – or at any rate requires debunking the anti-realist arguments discussed below. “The issue of realism” as most economists would recognize it, is not exactly the issue of realism as philosophers recognize it. “The issue of realism” in economics is about realisticness as a property of theories , while (part of) the issue of realism in philosophy is about realism as a theory of theories . But some parts of the issue of realisticness (such as those related to reference and truth) in economics can be translated into aspects of the issue of realism as a theory of theories. Thus there is also an issue of realism (with no quotation marks) in economics. It is this issue of realism that has to be settled as a prerequisite for critical assessments of important forms of realisticness of economic theories. (shrink)
Many economists, it is said, “are inclined to deny that moral philosophy has anything to do with economics” . In this paper I challenge such inclinations bydrawing an analogy between economic interventions and humansubjects research. It is undeniable that investigators engaged in thelatter should adhere to specific ethical principles. I argue that analogousfeatures of economic interventions should lead us to recognise thatsimilar ethical concerns actually arise in both activities, and thusthat economic interventions should also be conducted in accordancewith ethical (...) principles. By exploring the analogy further I formulatesome ethical guidelines for economic practice, which in turn imply thatethical responsibilities will extend to all members of the economicsprofession. (shrink)
Feminist economists have demonstrated that interrogating hierarchies based on gender, ethnicity, class and nation results in an economics that is biased and more faithful to empirical evidence than are mainstream accounts. This rigorous and comprehensive book examines many of the central philosophical questions and themes in feminist economics including: · History of economics · Feminist science studies · Identity and agency · Caring labor · Postcolonialism and postmodernism With contributions from such leading figures as Nancy Folbre, Julie (...) Nelson and Sandra Harding, Toward a Feminist Theory of Economics looks set to become the book on feminist economics for some time to come and will be greatly appreciated by all those interested in gender studies, economic methodology and social theory. (shrink)
There is an increasingly widespread belief, both within and outside the discipline, that modern economics is irrelevant to the understanding of the real world. Economics and Reality traces this irrelevance to the failure of economists to match their methods with their subject, showing that formal, mathematical models are unsuitable to the social realities economists purport to address. Tony Lawson examines the various ways in which mainstream economics is rooted in positivist philosophy and examines the problems this causes. (...) It focuses on human agency, social structure and their interaction and explores how the understanding of this social phenomena can be used to transform the nature of economic practice. Economics and Reality concludes by showing how this newly transformed economics might set about shaping economic policy. (shrink)
The principal findings of experimental economics are that impersonal exchange in markets converges in repeated interaction to the equilibrium states implied by economic theory, under information conditions far weaker than specified in the theory. In personal, social, and economic exchange, as studied in two-person games, cooperation exceeds the prediction of traditional game theory. This book relates these two findings to field studies and applications and integrates them with the main themes of the Scottish Enlightenment and with the thoughts of (...) F. A. Hayek. (shrink)
I distinguish several doctrines that economic methodologists have found attractive, all of which have a positivist flavour. One of these is the doctrine that preference assignments in economics are just shorthand descriptions of agents' choice behaviour. Although most of these doctrines are problematic, the latter doctrine about preference assignments is a respectable one, I argue. It doesn't entail any of the problematic doctrines, and indeed it is warranted independently of them.
Economics today cannot predict the likely outcome of specific events any better than it could in the time of Adam Smith. This is Alexander Rosenberg's controversial challenge to the scientific status of economics. Rosenberg explains that the defining characteristic of any science is predictive improvability--the capacity to create more precise forecasts by evaluating the success of earlier predictions--and he forcefully argues that because economics has not been able to increase its predictive power for over two centuries, it (...) is not a science. (shrink)