272 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
Human Nature in Modern Economics offers a precise definition of the concept of human nature in economics, something that is so far lacking in the theoretical and methodological literature.
This book develops tools for the analysis of human nature through the construction of the author’s meta-model – based on anthropological and psychological foundations – allowing for comparisons of anthropological assumptions made in economic theories. The model demonstrates that the normative functions of human nature may affect the economic reality. The chapters argue that the concept of human nature determines our thinking about the economy and economics, including fundamental methodologies, methods and theories. Thus, the differences between various economic schools may result from the different assumptions of these schools about human nature. Those evolving views of human nature proceed to explain the development of both orthodox (mainstream) and heterodox economics.
The book marks a significant addition to the literature on the history of economic thought, heterodox economics, economic theory and economic methodology. For students, it is a supplement to standard textbooks as it explains the current state of economics, especially in its heterodox branches. It will allow scholars to discover the importance of what they assume about human nature and how it may influence their research process.
Table of Contents
INTRODUCTION: HUMAN NATURE AND ECONOMICS
1. HUMAN NATURE AND HOW TO STUDY IT
2. HUMAN NATURE IN UNDERSTANDING AND PRACTISING ECONOMICS
3. HOMO OECONOMICUS AS THE STARTING POINT FOR ALTERNATIVE CONCEPTS OF HUMAN NATURE IN HETERODOX ECONOMICS
4. ALTERNATIVE CONCEPTS OF HUMAN NATURE IN HETERODOX ECONOMICS
5. DETERMINANTS OF CHANGES IN THE CONCEPT OF HUMAN NATURE IN ECONOMICS
6. PERSPECTIVES OF ECONOMICS IN THE LIGHT OF CHANGING CONCEPTS OF HUMAN NATURE
CONCLUSION: HUMAN NATURE IN MODERN ECONOMICS
Anna Horodecka is Associate Professor at the Warsaw School of Economics, Poland.
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