The Nobel Quandary
Smith’s Psychology of Active Listening

New book: Ricardo Crespo's A Re-Assessment of Aristotle’s Economic Thought

Mark D. White

CrespoI'm happy to report that my friend Ricardo Crespo has published a new book with Routledge titled A Re-Assessment of Aristotle's Economic Thought. In conjunction with the book's publication, Routledge has posted an interview with Crespo, beginning with the following poignant question:

Why a re-assessment of Aristotle's economic thought today?

This is an interesting, exciting time for economics. On the one hand, standard economics has become increasingly sophisticated –current micro and macroeconomics bear little resemblance to their 1970s counterparts. Asymmetrical information; industrial organization; new developments in game theory, econometrics and uncertainty management; rational expectations, and dynamic stochastic general equilibrium are all revamping economics.

On the other hand, valuable inputs from other sciences are enriching economic approaches, like the contributions from psychology that have led to behavioral and happiness economics, or the influence of experimental sciences on experimental economics and of neurology on neuroeconomics, as well as the sociological and anthropological notions on identity, reciprocity, gift and institutions used in economic theory developments or the borrowings from ethics that paved the way for capability approaches. New ideas are booming, and it is very hard to anticipate what economics will look like in 20 years.

As new scenarios unfold, we urgently need to rely on philosophy, as its role resembles that of an orchestra director, coordinating all the instruments to produce a harmonious melody. In fact, the greatest economists all started off as philosophers. Adam Smith was a professor of moral philosophy at the University of Glasgow, and his close friend and colleague, philosopher David Hume, also wrote interesting essays on economics. The list of other outstanding ‘economist-philosophers’ notably includes John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Carl Menger, Frank Knight, Ludwig von Mises, John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich von Hayek, Joseph Schumpeter, Herbert Simon, Albert Hirschman, and Amartya Sen. These names are associated with very different positions, but we need a neutral, more panoramic philosophical view. My candidate to provide it is Aristotle.

Read the entire interview here, and if you read the book, please feel free to comment on it below.


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