OK folks. As we build out our schedule for the next year, I’ve promised that we are going to do something on Economics. I’m in the process of doing the research now and would like to solicit input from the community. What we need is a digestible text (or several) that lay out some of the central philosophical assumptions of Economics or which represent economic philosophical presuppositions well.
It seems to me that economic theories make very clear assumptions about human behavior and what motivates it – that’s one direction to go. Another is to look at political, social or moral implications of specific economic positions (e.g. importance of reducing unemployment vs. managing inflation). Yet another would be to examine the stated or unstated goal(s) of economic practice – wealth creation, human flourishing, political stability, etc.
So send us your suggestions. I’ll be asking some friends and sending hope mail to eminent Econ profs as well. As an aside, listening to economists argue about Economics sounds a lot to me like philosophers arguing about Philosophy. I’m far from convinced that it’s any different from other liberal arts and certainly isn’t a science. I’m also slowly becoming Hayekian.