Advertisement

The Conception of the Individual in Modern Economic Analysis

  • Amos WitztumEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Synopsis : We now know that humans are predominantly social beings and that their sociality does not lend itself to the purely functional society in which modern economics seems to reside. The question that arises is whether economics’ claim for universality and ethical neutrality can survive such acknowledgements. In other words, can the main building block of modern economics—the conception of the individual—accommodate the sociality we uncovered in the previous two chapters while maintaining the same organisational principle of competitive decentralisation as the universal recipe for economic organisation.

Bibliography

  1. Becker, G. S. (1996). Accounting for Taste. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bentham, J. (2009 [1789]). An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (Dover Philosophical Classics). Dover Publications Inc.Google Scholar
  3. Binmore, K. (2012). Playing for Real. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bowles, S., & Gintis, H. A. (2011). A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and its Evolution. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Camerer, C. F., Lowenstein, G., & Rabin, M. (Eds.). (2011). Advances in Behavioural Economics. New York: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Charness, G., & Rabin, M. (2002). Understanding Social Preferences with Simple Tests. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117(3), 817–869.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chaudhuri, A. (2011). Sustaining Cooperation in Laboratory Public Goods Experiments. A Selective Survey of the Literature. Experimental Economics, 14, 47–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Coleman, J. S. (1993). The Rational Reconstruction of Society. American Sociological Review, 58, 1–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Edgeworth, F. Y. (2003 [1881]). Mathematical Psychics and Further Papers on Political Economy (P. Newman, Ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Engel, C. (2007). How Much Collusion? A Meta-analysis on Oligopoly Experiments. Journal of Competition Law and Economics, 3, 491–549.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fehr, E., & Schmidt, K. M. (1999). A Theory of Fairness. A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 114(3), 817–868.Google Scholar
  12. Gintis, H., & Helbing, D. (2015). Homo Socialis: An Analytical Core for Sociological Theory Review of Behavioral. Economics, 2015(2), 1–59.Google Scholar
  13. Giocoli, N. (2003). Modelling Rational Agents: From Interwar Economics to Early Modern Game Theory. Cheltenham: Elgar.Google Scholar
  14. Gossen, H. H. (1854). Die Entwickelung der Gesetze des menschlichen Verkehrs, und der daraus fließenden Regeln für menschliches Handeln. Translated into English as The Laws of Human Relations and the Rules of Human Action Derived Therefrom (1983) MIT Press.Google Scholar
  15. Griswold, C. L. (1999). Adam Smith and the Virtues if Enlightenment. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Hausman, D. M. (1992). The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Heinrich, J., Boyd, R., Bowles, S., Camerer, C., Fehr, E., & Gintins, H. (2004). Foundation of Human Sociality. London: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hollander, S. (1985). The Economics of J S Mill. Toronto: University of Toronto.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hutchison, T. W. (1978). On Revolutions and Progress in Economic Knowledge. London: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Jevons, W. S. (1888 [1871]). The Theory of Political Economy. London: Macmillan and Co.Google Scholar
  21. Kahneman, D., Knetsch, J. L., & Thaler, R. H. (2004). Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market. In C. F. Camerer, G. Lowenstein, & M. Rabin (Eds.), Advances in Behavioral Economics. New York: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Kahneman, D., Walker, P., & Sarin, R. (1997). Back to Bentham? Exploration of Experienced Utility, Quarterly Journal of Economics., 112, 375–405.Google Scholar
  23. Leslie, T. E. C. (1969 [1870]). On the Philosophical Method of Political Economy. In Essays in Political Economy. New York: Augustus M Kelley.Google Scholar
  24. Lipkes, J. (1999). Politics, Religion and Classical Political Economy in Britain: J S Mill and His Followers. Macmillan Press.Google Scholar
  25. Lynne, G. D. (2006). Towards a Dual Motive Metaeconomic Theory. Journal of Socio-Economics, 35, 634–651.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Manski, C. F. (2000). Economic Analysis of Social Interactions. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14(3), 115–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mill, J. S. (1969a [1861]). Utilitarianism. In J. M. Robson (Ed.), Collected Works: Essays on Ethics, Religion and Society (Vol. 10). Toronto and London: Toronto University Press and Routledge & Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  28. Moore, G. C. (1995). The Role of Cliffe Leslie in the Early Stages of the English Methodenstreit. Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 17, 57–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Moore, G. C. (1999). John Kells Ingram, the Comtean Movement, and the English Methodenstreit. History of Political Economy, 31(1), 53–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Oostebeek, H., Sloof, R., & Van de Kuilen, G. (2004). Cultural Differences in Ultimatum Game Experiments: Evidence from a Meta-analysis. Experimental Economics, 7, 171–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Peart, S. J., & Levy, D. M. (2003). Denying Human Homogeneity: Eugenics and the Making of Post-classical Economics. Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 25, 261–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Rawls, J. (1973). A Theory of Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Rosenberg, N. (1990). Adam Smith and the Stock of Moral Capital. History of Political Economy, 22(1), 1–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Schmitt, P. M. (2004). On Perceptions of Fairness: The Role of Valuations, Outside Options, and Information in Ultimatum Bargaining Games. Experimental Economics, 7(1), 49–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Schwartz, P. (1972). The New Political Economy of J. S. Mill. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Sidgewick, H. (1907 [1874]). The Methods of Ethics. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  37. Simon, H. A. (1986). Rationality in Psychology and Economics. The Journal of Business, 59(4), 209–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Smith, V. L. (1998). The Two Faces of Adam Smith. Southern Economic Journal, 65, 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Sugden, R. (1991). Rational Choice: A Survey of Contributions from Economics and Philosophy. Economic Journal, 101(407), 751–785.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tullock, G. (2002). People Are People: The Elements of Public Choice. In G. Tullock, A. Seldon, & G. L. Brady (Eds.), Government Failures: A Primer in Public Choice. New York: Cato Institute.Google Scholar
  41. Tullock, G. (2005). The Economics of Politics: The Selected Work of Gordon Tullock (Vol. 4). London: Liberty Fund.Google Scholar
  42. Tuomela, R. (2000). Cooperation. London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Tuomela, R. (2007). The Philosophy of Sociality. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Verbeek, B. (2002). Instrumental Rationality and Moral Philosophy. London: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Walras, L. (1954 [1874]). Elements of Pure Economics (W. Jaffe, Trans.). London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.Google Scholar
  46. West, E. G. (1996). Adam Smith on the Cultural Effects of Specialisation: Splenetics versus Economics. History of Political Economy, 28(1), 83–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Williamson, O. (1975). Markets and Hierarchies: Analysis and Antitrust Implications. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  48. Witztum, A. (2000). Income Distribution and Growth in Adam Smith (“La repartition du revenue et la croissance chez Adam Smith”). In A. Alcouffe, B. Fourcade, J-M. Plassard & G. Tahar (Eds.), Efficaite Versus Equite en Economie Sociale (Vol. 1, pp. 85–99) (Conference Proceedings), l’ Harmatta Logiques Economiques, Paris.Google Scholar
  49. Witztum, A. (2005a). Economic Sociology: The Recursive Economic System of J S Mill. Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 27(3), 251–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Witztum, A. (2005b). Social Circumstances and Rationality: Some Lessons from Adam Smith. The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 64(4), 1025–1047.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social SciencesLondon School of Economics and Political SciencesLondonUK

Personalised recommendations