Economics and Human Flourishing in Historical Perspective
Routledge, London, 2006
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Economists have long laboured under the misapprehension that all humans exist as rational beings that find happiness in maximizing their personal utility. This impressive volume presents an historical review of the evolution of economic thought, from economic philosophy to contemporary mathematical economics, and its critique of how the human and social dimensions of economics have been lost in this evolutionary process.
Examining the crucial period in the late eighteenth century when economists such Smith and Genovesi tried to reconcile the classical tradition of Civil humanism emerging commercial society, this key book analyses the impact that the hedonist approach to economics had in removing the ethical conception of happiness. In addition, it focuses on the impact that J.S. Mill, Wicksteed and Pareto had in shifting methodological thinking away from an emphasis on civil happiness. Simply put, this book is essential reading for economists everywhere.