Questions tagged [philosophy-of-economics]

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21
votes
10answers
5k views

Is economics a science?

In class, I made the argument that economics is not science, because it cannot undertake repeatable experiments. Someone rebutted: this would mean that I am ignore an emerging body of work, some by ...
15
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3answers
3k views

What are the main points of contention between Marxist and capitalist economic philosophies?

What are the main points of contention between Marxist economic philosophy and the various "pro-capitalist" economic philosophies (Labor Theory of Value, Austrian School, Libertarianism, etc.?)
10
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11answers
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Why are Objectivists against Socialism?

From what I understand, Objectivism advocates rational selfishness - to put yourself before the masses, unless you don't want to - essentially to do what you want instead of blind altruism. In the ...
10
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6answers
2k views

What are some good books on the philosophy of economics?

I'm a college student of physics, and I'm looking to expand my horizon in the field of philosophy of economics, so, what books would you recommend for newbies like me? I was thinking in history of ...
7
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4answers
2k views

Why can't (or shouldn't) economists answer normative questions?

Normative questions are those which: affirm how things should or ought to be, how to value them, which things are good or bad, which actions are right or wrong. Normative is usually contrasted ...
7
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8answers
3k views

Is it immoral to buy / own / sell stock in an evil company?

Scenario. I have decided that I should not buy widgets from Company X because I do not want to support various immoral things Company X does to produce said widgets. Claim. It is nonetheless morally ...
7
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2answers
916 views

Is it immoral to pay taxes if your government conducts immoral activities?

Assume your government participates in immoral wars that are unjust according to your personal beliefs and religious doctrine (for example Christian just war theory), is giving support to the ...
6
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6answers
2k views

Whats the difference between fixed and constant capital?

Rosa Luxembourg in The Accumulation of Capital describes & investigates the constant and fixed capital of Marx & Smith respectively. With Marx, she says Constant capital is the value ...
6
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5answers
2k views

What responses have there been to Mises' theory of praxeology?

In his treatise Human Action, Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises attempts to establish economics not as an empirical science, or a mathematical theory, but as a synthetic a priori endeavor he ...
6
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1answer
425 views

Does rational choice theory stack up against reality?

Rational choice theory has been criticised on the grounds that "consumers are not rational, so doesn't make much sense because utility functions can't model consumer preferences." But is there actual ...
6
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5answers
3k views

What is an example of human labour being the exclusive source of surplus value

Marx's labour theory seems to define surplus value as being produced exclusively from human labour. One discussion of this concept stated: Machinery, and tools of production do not create surplus ...
5
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4answers
2k views

Does capitalism have an end goal?

Occasionally I find that things such as "incentives" in a capitalist economy are as if they would be directed to a certain outcome or certain outcomes. E.g. that profit incentives matter only in so ...
5
votes
1answer
15k views

What does Marxism envision as the role of the state in the economy?

According to Marx, in capitalism, what role does the state play? Is it independent of the economy? Also, does the exploitation of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie, have anything to do with the state ...
5
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2answers
225 views

Mass surveillance and the concealed subject of power

In Spivaks essay, can the Subaltern speak, she states that: [the] contemporary invocations of the libidinal economy and desire as the determining interest, combined with practical politics of the ...
5
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2answers
341 views

What arguments have there been on the relative merits of praxeology vs rationality?

Suppose you know what someone's goals are, and how much they value each of their goals. Then if you observe their behavior in a given situation, how can you understand why they acted the way they did?...
5
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1answer
117 views

The mass surveillance of price and the invisible hand?

In Hayeks Road to Serfdom, he distinguishes between central planning & decentralised planning. And states that decentralised planning makes the most sense, since the available information is too ...
4
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4answers
979 views

Philosophical critiques of neoclassical economics?

Background Information In his article on Neoclassical economics in The Library of Economics and Liberty, E.Weintraub articulates the following: Neoclassical economics rests on three assumptions, ...
4
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2answers
333 views

Was the Communist Manifesto actually representative of Marx's ideology?

The Communist Manifesto (TCM, from here on) has become the most well-known work by Karl Marx - even more so than Kapital. However, I'm wondering if it is it correct to call the points laid out by the ...
4
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3answers
158 views

Are there objective-criteria for criticizing people's "market behavior"?

Are there objective-criteria for criticizing people's "market behavior"? That is, is there a set of criteria that one can objectively refer to as measuring, whether the "contribution" of a member is ...
4
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6answers
571 views

Will automation emancipate us from labour?

In the The Human Condition, Arendt writes: The danger that the modern age's emancipation of labour will not only fail to usher in an age of freedom for all but will result, on the contrary, in ...
4
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3answers
159 views

Adam Smith: If humans are self-interested individuals, why should we reinvest our wealth?

According to Adam Smith, humans are self-interested individuals. If this is true, why does he argue that people should reinvest their wealth? How does this benefit a self-interested individual? Does ...
4
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1answer
64 views

The future of my philosophical understanding and methods for getting there

I am trying to go through a semi-rigorous self-teaching regimen, and I was wondering if I could get some criticism on my approach. I'm interested in philosophy of economics, social philosophy, and ...
4
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2answers
193 views

Are methodological individualism and materialism compatible?

One of the fundamental principles of the Austrian school of economics, particularly the kind promoted by Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, is methodological individualism, according to which the ...
4
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1answer
190 views

Historicism vs Determinism

Can anyone explain the difference between historicism and determinism (e.g. economic determinism)? I've found articles that describe them as different things, while others treat them as synonyms. If ...
4
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4answers
228 views

What philosophers and schools have considered 'transcendental' economic values?

Background Settle a bet- more likely; enrich a debate. A friend of mine (a philosophy PhD with a penchant for economics) and I have been arguing for some time on the same topic. He is a libertarian ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Why are humans risk-averse? [closed]

The economic theory and much of the decision theory are based on the assumption that we are risk-averse creatures; in the sense that we are more sensitive to bad outcomes than the good ones and so ...
3
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6answers
1k views

Can a "blood diamond" ever be redeemed for morally good purposes?

I'm looking at the concept of how bad money (blood diamonds for example) relates to good money, and how a transfer from one to the other would occur. Premise & Example I don't want to ...
3
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3answers
5k views

Difference between Utilitarianism and Capitalist justice

I am a student of econometrics and I'm studying the philosophy of economics. This week I have exams, and I was reviewing last year's exam to practice. I ran into this question: One of the arguments ...
3
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5answers
334 views

Does this count as a critique of Marxs Labour theory of value?

Marxs theory of value uses the input of Labour as determinining Production Value. But what if we can do away with Labour? For example, consider a perfectly automated factory producing mugs. This ...
3
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4answers
224 views

Multidimensional value money

When I was a kid, I had a feeling that money was not that important, but the majority of people around me kept saying the opposite. So I thought that I just did not understand them. Now that I have ...
3
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1answer
127 views

Where does Adorno find this quote of Marx?

In Negative Dialectics, Adorno quotes Marx as saying: even if a society has found a natural law of motion - and the present works ultimate goal is to unveil the law of modern society economic motion -...
3
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3answers
193 views

Economics, State and Violence

I think it was the continental sociologist Weber who defined a State as that organ of a nation that has a monopoly of violence. Economics, at least what minute fraction I know, appears to ignore ...
3
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2answers
243 views

How can laissez-faire capitalism not turn to corporatocracy?

An idea of corporatocracy (pretty dystopian) exists in some movies and videogames. Typically huge corporations ar epresented as having own armies and those armies can force citizens do their work. We ...
3
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1answer
1k views

Philosophy of Chankya/Kautilya [closed]

I have heard and also read a little that in 500 B.C. an Indian genius Chankya, caused the fall of Magdha empire, and made a street guy The king named Chandragupta. He was an exceptional strategist and ...
3
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3answers
5k views

How does Marxist Economics account for taxation?

In Marxs theory of Capital, he suggests that the origin of profit (in a factory) is surplus labour. (A factory may as well be a company, a record label or a health-care unit). The government by ...
3
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4answers
237 views

Philosophical framework for avoiding short-term strategies

In business and politics, often decision-makers make decisions that cause short-term gain, but long-term loss. So economically, this might be an unreasonable (lossy) and thus irrational process. Is ...
2
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4answers
113 views

What should the value of a private sector company tell us?

This question bridges both philosophy and economics. Please see original question on the economics website, it includes extra comments and discussion. Looking for critique and reading suggestions: ...
2
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5answers
5k views

Who owns the means of production?

Labour is Marxs term for those who do not own the means of production and thus rely on their own labour - ie they are wage earners. What is his term for those who do own the means of production? Its ...
2
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2answers
230 views

What would an economics that takes buddhism seriously look like?

Capitalism is predicated on desire, and on maintaining that desire. Buddhism turns away from desire. Has anyone written anything that takes Buddhism seriously enough to make it the centre of their ...
2
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4answers
2k views

What's the purpose of economics / How is economics useful to humans? [closed]

What is the purpose of economics? By purpose I mean having a purpose in a similar sense that eating and producing food has a purpose for survival. What does economics produce? How does it help ...
2
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3answers
595 views

What is Capital?

One hears a great deal about Capitalisms and anti-capitalisms; but what do these terms actually mean? Have these terms been so used and abused that they now mean very little? Can I just think of ...
2
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4answers
446 views

Is it ethical to block ads while still consuming content?

When browsing the web, many users block advertisements for a surprisingly wide variety of reasons. The site operator can send the user whatever they want, often a mix of the sought after content, good ...
2
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4answers
1k views

Scenario in which society is better off by someone breaking a rule?

Suppose there is some rule in some social setting/scenario where society (or a relevant smaller set of people) is/are better off when some people violate it. Specifically, we have that (where '>' ...
2
votes
2answers
476 views

Is the perfect competition hypthesis simply the Hobbesian state of nature in the commercial realm?

Hobbes defines the state of nature as war of all against all. Is the perfect competition hypthesis as classically defined presumably by Adam Smith simply this but rather than man against man, ...
2
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1answer
52 views

Were there philosophers who claimed that trading is immoral?

In a glimpse this might seem an absurd question because almost anyone anywhere in this world, trades, but, Where there philosophers who claimed that trading is immoral? Who claimed that the very act ...
2
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1answer
144 views

Is there any new concept in Marxism that didn't exist in classical economics?

Surplus value is just economic profit. The organic composition of capital is just the investment rate. Capitalist mode of production is just a verbose way of saying capitalism. Exchange value is price....
2
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2answers
680 views

What did Karl Marx mean by "revolutionary combination due to association"?

In "The Communist Manifesto", it is said that: "The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the laborers, due to competition, by the ...
2
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2answers
273 views

The Fetishism To Commodities "In History" -- When did it really happen?

I restarted reading the non-main stream economics' groups, that is to say, as you may well easily guess Marxian stream. Since the age of 20, when I read their works, the focal point has not changed ...
2
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1answer
602 views

Was Ayn Rand affected by Italian Futurism?

Italian Futurism was an art movement in early 20th century Italy which celebrated youth, violence & technology: Marinetti expressed a passionate loathing of everything old, especially political ...
2
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2answers
118 views

Is there an ethical difference between taking away and withholding?

Has anyone in contemporary ethics discussed whether or not there is a difference between (1) taking something away (e.g., stealing $100) or withholding something (e.g., refusing to pay $100 of taxes)?