Purpose To show the existence of two diffent lines of thought in Economics: the homo economicus tradition and the evolutionary tradition. Methodology/approach Following Hayek, the author adopts the individualistic methodology. This allows to separate the homo oeconomicus approach, which is a hyper-rationalistic construction concerned with the intentional results of human action, from the evolutionary approach, which is concerned with the unintended consequences of human conduct. Findings The homo oeconomicus tradition incurs the methodological mistake which goes by the name of psychologism, a theory that operates with the idea of a human nature and a human psychology as they exist prior to society. And yet the nature of individual man itself must be placed within a social context and be explained. As the evolutionary tradition and Hayek suggest, the formation of the Ego and the development of the human mind moves from a range of intersubiective relations. Research limitations/implications According to his gnoseological premises, the homo oeconomicus tries to maximize the result of human conduct. However, the concept of maximization neglects the fact that the exchange occurs as soon as a positive-sum game sets in; this is very different from maximization, which does not take into account the “compensations” that the subject can achieve by means of the other dimensions of human action. Originality/value of paper To speak of “classical economists”, placing evolutionary scholars and strictly utilitarian ones under the same denomination, is just as misleading as using the expression “neoclassical economists” in referring to the evolutionary Menger and utilitarian Jevons and Walras .

Hayek and The Evolutionary Tradition Against the Homo Oeconomicus / Infantino, Lorenzino. - 13:(2010), pp. 159-177. [10.1108/S1529-2134(2010)0000013009]

Hayek and The Evolutionary Tradition Against the Homo Oeconomicus

INFANTINO, LORENZINO
2010

Abstract

Purpose To show the existence of two diffent lines of thought in Economics: the homo economicus tradition and the evolutionary tradition. Methodology/approach Following Hayek, the author adopts the individualistic methodology. This allows to separate the homo oeconomicus approach, which is a hyper-rationalistic construction concerned with the intentional results of human action, from the evolutionary approach, which is concerned with the unintended consequences of human conduct. Findings The homo oeconomicus tradition incurs the methodological mistake which goes by the name of psychologism, a theory that operates with the idea of a human nature and a human psychology as they exist prior to society. And yet the nature of individual man itself must be placed within a social context and be explained. As the evolutionary tradition and Hayek suggest, the formation of the Ego and the development of the human mind moves from a range of intersubiective relations. Research limitations/implications According to his gnoseological premises, the homo oeconomicus tries to maximize the result of human conduct. However, the concept of maximization neglects the fact that the exchange occurs as soon as a positive-sum game sets in; this is very different from maximization, which does not take into account the “compensations” that the subject can achieve by means of the other dimensions of human action. Originality/value of paper To speak of “classical economists”, placing evolutionary scholars and strictly utilitarian ones under the same denomination, is just as misleading as using the expression “neoclassical economists” in referring to the evolutionary Menger and utilitarian Jevons and Walras .
9781849509749
Individualismo metodologico; economia; azione economica; primato del teorico nella costruzione della scienza; evoluzionismo e razionalismo.
Hayek and The Evolutionary Tradition Against the Homo Oeconomicus / Infantino, Lorenzino. - 13:(2010), pp. 159-177. [10.1108/S1529-2134(2010)0000013009]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11385/17840
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