We discuss in this paper the scope of abduction in Economics. The literature on this type of inference shows that it can be interpreted in different ways, according to the role and nature of its outcome. We present a formal model that allows to capture these various meanings in different economic contexts.
A renewed concern with Aristotle’s thought about the economic aspects of human life and society can be observed. Aristotle dealt with the economic issues in his practical philosophy. He thus considered ‘the economic’ within an ethical and political frame. This vision is coherent with a specific ontology of ‘the economic’ according to Aristotle. In a recent paper, I analysed this ontology and left its consequences, especially for Ethics and Politics, for another paper. In this article, I firstly summarise the reasoning (...) and conclusions of the aforementioned paper. Then, I extract the ethical and political “lessons” of the Aristotelian conception. I finally add a section with epistemological “lessons”, and consequences for the teaching of Economics. (shrink)
This paper endeavours to summarize a variety of arguments for a reconsideration of ends in Economics. The logical structure of the rationality of ends (practical rationality) differs from the one of means (instrumental rationality). The paper sets out to explain the differences between both rationalities and some of the implications of incorporating this new emphasis on ends, given that Economics adopts the means rationality. The emergence of the topics of incommensurability and incomparability of ends is presented and a possible way (...) to tackle it is suggested. Finally, some implications for Economics are drawn. This article emphasizes the importance of incorporating practical rationality into economic analysis. The arguments of the paper are built on Aristotelian grounds. (shrink)
Foundations of Economic Personalism is a series of three book-length monographs, each closely examining a significant dimension of the Center for Economic Personalism's unique synthesis of Christian personalism and free-economic market theory. In the aftermath of the momentous geo-political and economic changes of the late 1980s, a small group of Christian social ethicists began to converse with free-market economists over the morality of market activity. This interdisciplinary exchange eventually led to the founding of a new academic subdiscipline under the rubric (...) of economic personalism. These scholars attempt to integrate economic theory, history, and methodology with Christian personalism's stress upon human dignity, humane social structures, and social justice. This volume presents the methodological and theoretical foundations for economic personalism through a detailed investigation of human action from two different, yet complementary perspectives: from the personalist perspective of Karol Wojtyla in the Acting Person , and the free-market perspective of Ludwig von Mises in Human Action . By comparing and contrasting the viewpoints of Wojtyla and Mises, the authors develop a comprehensive praxeology capable of analyzing human action from moral and economic perspectives. Beyond Self-Interest illustrates how a unified praxeology could encourage more sustained analysis of the moral dimensions of economic activity while simultaneously softening the utilitarian prejudice of contemporary economic analysis. (shrink)
El revisionismo austríaco discutió la tesis de la historiografía económica clásica en torno a una supuesta incomprensión escolástica del mercado fundada en el �justo precio� y en la concepción aristotélica del valor, y vio en dicha concepción la raíz de la teoría subjetiva del valor sostenida por la primera generación de austríacos. Aquí mostramos, sin embargo, que los principales revisionistas austríacos realizaron una interpretación sesgada de la distinción entre valor de uso y valor de cambio en Aristóteles, e indicamos las (...) claves esenciales en torno a las cuales debería girar la recuperación de la auténtica dimensión del valor económico en Aristóteles. (shrink)
This paper is an attempt to illuminate today’s economic science with the light of Aristotle’s philosophy of economics. The author first describes Aristotle’s thoughts about the economy. Then, he distinguishes and discusses three Aristotelian principles: economics should be a classical practical or moral science, economics should not look for an unlimited wealth, but for the wealth necessary for the good life, and economics should be aimed at the common good.
En este trabajo se postula que se pueden establecer relaciones entre las diversas ‘visiones dei mundo’ (en sentido vulgar) y las teorías economicas, a través de las epistemologías subyacentes a las mismas. Se ilustra con las siguientes relaciones: entre la cosmovisión propia dei sistema de Aristóteles y su noción de economía, entre la matriz racionalista moderna y la economía clásica y neoclásica, a través del uso de analogías físicas y biologicas, y entre algunas posturas recientes y una vision post-moderna del (...) mundo. Se busca fomentar una actitud crítica frente a las teorías e insistir en la necesidadde buscar siempre el camino epistemológico y metodológico adecuado al objeto de estudio.This paper tries to show the bridges between world visions (in a broad sense) and economic theories, through their underlying epistemological positions. The following relations are brought up: between Aristotle’s world vision and his concept of economics, between the modern rationalist frame and classical and neoclassical economics by the postulation of analogies from physics and biology, and finally between post-modern world vision and some current perspectives. The aim of the paper is to stress on the need of maintaining a critical position toward theories and also always looking for an adequate epistemological and methodological way. (shrink)
En este trabajo se postula que se pueden establecer relaciones entre las diversas ‘visiones dei mundo’ y las teorías economicas, a través de las epistemologías subyacentes a las mismas. Se ilustra con las siguientes relaciones: entre la cosmovisión propia dei sistema de Aristóteles y su noción de economía, entre la matriz racionalista moderna y la economía clásica y neoclásica, a través del uso de analogías físicas y biologicas, y entre algunas posturas recientes y una vision post-moderna del mundo. Se busca (...) fomentar una actitud crítica frente a las teorías e insistir en la necesidadde buscar siempre el camino epistemológico y metodológico adecuado al objeto de estudio.This paper tries to show the bridges between world visions and economic theories, through their underlying epistemological positions. The following relations are brought up: between Aristotle’s world vision and his concept of economics, between the modern rationalist frame and classical and neoclassical economics by the postulation of analogies from physics and biology, and finally between post-modern world vision and some current perspectives. The aim of the paper is to stress on the need of maintaining a critical position toward theories and also always looking for an adequate epistemological and methodological way. (shrink)
This article begins by pointing out the difficulties involved by the insertion of freedom in economics: It poses epistemological problems that are not satisfactorily solved by the standard theories. The article suggests that the Aristotelian epistemological frame of practical rationality may be an apt position from which one can deal with freedom in economics. Aristotle's concepts of society and economics are first introduced. The role of virtues in achieving economic coordination is exposed. Then the corresponding concept of practical science is (...) described, showing its main characteristics and how they fit in with traditional political economy. The concept of value neutrality receives special attention in the article: A reinterpretation of the meaning of it is proposed. The article concludes that Aristotle's broad concepts of practical reason and science leave room for a more comprehensive notion of economics. (shrink)
The ‘value-free ideal’ has been called into question for several reasons. It does not include “epistemic values”—viewed as characteristic of ‘good science’—and rejects the so-called ‘contextual’, ‘non-cognitive’ or ‘non-epistemic’ values—all of them personal, moral, or political values. This paper analyzes a possible complementary argument about the dubitable validity of the value-free ideal, specifically focusing on social sciences, with a two-fold strategy. First, it will consider that values are natural facts in a broad or ‘liberal naturalist’ sense and, thus, a legitimate (...) part of those sciences. Second, the paper will not reject the value-free ideal; rather, it will construe this ideal in a special way, not casting values aside in sciences, but bringing them to the table and rationally discussing them. Today’s predominant naturalistic view has tended to ‘naturalize’ values by looking for physicalist explanations for them—a move resisted by defenders of normativism in social sciences. At the same time, a contending ‘liberal naturalist’ stream has emerged, claiming that not all natural entities can be explained by the methods and concepts of physical sciences, and favors a non-materialist naturalism which includes mind, consciousness, meaning and value as fundamental parts of nature that cannot be reduced to matter. Hence, it may be posited that non-epistemic values could be ‘naturally’ included in the field of human sciences. (shrink)
Recientemente se ha avanzado en algunas variaciones a la interpretación estándar de la obras de Max Weber. De entre estas variaciones hay una visión no-sociológia del corpus weberiano. Aquí trato de mostrar algunas implicaciones de esta nueva posición para la metodología de las ciencias sociales, y ofrezco un panorama bibliográfico del asunto.
This paper sustains that reappraising Austrian economics in the light of Aristotelian ideas is not only possible but also fruitful. First, the paper draws a sketch of the essential features of Austrian economics. Next, it argues about the necessity for a thorough analysis of the notion of freedom, and it analyzes Mises's conception. Next, the paper exposes Aristotle's social, epistemological and economic thought related to Austrian main traits. An account of how the exercise of Aristotelian virtues may be synergic with (...) economic coordination and a sketch of the consequences of the proposal on the teaching of economics are then provided. Finally, the conclusion shortly sums up the content and relevance of Aristotle's contribution. (shrink)
In recent times various books have suggested building a healthier economics on Aristotelian foundations. They often rely on Scott Meikle’s accurate study of Aristotle’s Economic Thought. For example, we can mention James Alvey’s A Short History of Ethics and Economics. The Greeks, Spencer Pack’s Aristotle, Adam Smith and Karl Marx, and Irene van Staveren’s The Values of Economics: An Aristotelian Perspective which stresses the need for inserting the values of justice, freedom and care into economics. Andrew Yuengert’s The Boundaries of (...) Technique is based on Aristotle and Aquinas conceptions of human action. Yuengert has also published Approximating Prudence: Aristotelian Practical Wisdom and Economic Models of Choice. James Halteman and Edd Noell’s book about the relevance of ethics for economics, Reckoning with Markets also deals with Aristotle’s economic thought. The proposal of a new book of Robert and Edward Skidelsky, How Much is Enough? is also highly based on Aristotle’s notion of the good life. This paper will briefly detect what are the Aristotelian concepts mostly used by these authors and the reason why they are returning to Aristotle. (shrink)
Specialists often maintain that Menger has been strongly influenced by Aristotles thought ideas.This paper shows that although using Aristotles categories and general framework there are some issues in which Mengers conclusions differs from Aristotles.This hint out that Mengers knowledge of Aristotles ideas was not sufficiently deep and precise so as to completely capture its very spirit.Section two lays out the differences between Mengers conception of theoretical science applied to economics and Aristotles conception of economics as a practical science.Section three maintains (...) that the Mengerian claim about the methodological absurdity of empirically testing the conclusions of exact research is not genuinely Aristotelian.Section four deals with the issue of Mengers concept of organic social institutions showing its differences visà- vis an Aristotelian position.Les spécialistes soutiennent souvent que Menger a été fortement influencé par la pensée dAristote.Cet article montre que, bien quempruntant les catégories et la structure générale dAristote, certaines des conclusions de Menger diffèrent de celles dAristote.Larticle suggère que la connaissance quavait Menger des idées dAristote nétait pas suffisamment approfondie et précise pour en appréhender le sens plein.La section deux présente les différences entre la conception de la science théorique présente dans léconomique de Menger et la conception aristotélicienne de léconomie comme une science pratique.La troisième section soutient que largument de Menger au sujet de labsurdité méthodologique des tests empiriques des conclusions de la recherche exacte nest pas réellement aristotélicien. La section quatre aborde la question des institutions sociales organiques chez Menger et montre ses différences vis-à-vis de la position aristotélicienne. (shrink)
An economic crisis is an unexpected phenomenon with strong consequences for nations, institutions and people's wealth, habits, and behaviors. It departs from the ‘normal’ evolution of the affairs foreseen by economic theory. It makes the claim for new theoretical explanations. It surprises the economic agents that try to ascertain what kind of phenomenon they are facing in order to decide the appropriate actions to undertake. It calls for revisions of theory, plans and expectations. Overall, a crisis calls for an explanation (...) which clarifies its causes. (shrink)
The use of mathematics in economics has been widely discussed. The philosophical discussion on what mathematics is remains unsettled on why it can be applied to the study of the real world. We propose to get back to some philosophical conceptions that lead to a language-like role for the mathematical analysis of economic phenomena and present some problems of interest that can be better examined in this light. Category theory provides the appropriate tools for these analytical approach.