The Theory of the Individual in Economics: Identity and - download pdf or read online

By John B. Davis

ISBN-10: 0415202205

ISBN-13: 9780415202206

The idea that of the person and his/her motivations is a bedrock of philosophy. All strands of proposal at middle come all the way down to a specific conception of the person. Economics, although, is to blame of taking this highly very important suggestion with out wondering how we theorise it. This amazing publication treatments this oversight.

The new procedure recommend through Davis is to pay extra realization to what ethical philosophy might supply us within the research of private identification, self recognition and may. This crosses the conventional obstacles of economics and should shed new mild at the contrast among optimistic and normative research in economics. With either heterodox and orthodox economics receiving a radical research from Davis, this booklet is right away inclusive and revealing.


‘John Davis has written a desirable ebook … [his] critique is apparent, stylish, and compelling … [he] earns excessive issues for readability, persuasiveness, scholarship, and elegance. in addition, the reader who's uncommitted yet open minded approximately mainstream and heterodox economics will locate this a strong and convincing ebook. it's a superb selection for graduate students.’ – William Waller, magazine of financial Issues

'Overall, it is a very good ebook. it really is hugely urged as a meticulous and scholarly assessment of the literature.' - Geoffrey M. Hodgson, Economica

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Additional info for The Theory of the Individual in Economics: Identity and Value (Advances in Social Economics)

Example text

They thereby made what the individual wants the explanation of what the individual does, and accounted for the objective world in terms of the subjective world. This linkage later found powerful expression in the notion that choice could be formalized as “rational” choice. The term “rational” can refer to both mental phenomena (in terms of logical soundness) and natural phenomena (in terms of natural laws). “Rational” choice, then, provides the solution towards which Smith had only gestured. Whereas Smith and the classics had left a curtain between subjectivity and the world, neoclassicism, as the Hamlet of economics, penetrated that curtain with the theory of choice.

3 looks at what is involved The atomistic individual 27 in understanding the individual as an atomistic being, and argues that the abstract individual is still the conception of an atomistic being. Thus, mainstream economics continues under the banner of individualism though without an account of what individuals are. 4 asks whether methodological individualism and its associated reductionist project might constitute a last-ditch defense for keeping a place for the human individual in mainstream economics.

What has been overlooked in this expansion of opportunities, however, was that no new view of the individual had been introduced to replace the abandoned Lockean view. Thus, there was no particular reason to think these alternative explanations of behavior ought actually to be ascribed to human individuals. 3 The requirements of atomism In light of this history, recall Taylor’s characterization of Locke’s concept of the individual as a “punctual” self. For Locke, the self as subjective inwardness was an “extensionless” geometric point (Taylor 1989: 172), because a genuinely subjective nature cannot occupy space in a Newtonian world of objects and their relations.

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The Theory of the Individual in Economics: Identity and Value (Advances in Social Economics) by John B. Davis

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