Operating as lenses for the inspection of reality, these paradigms offered diverse (theoretical) pictures of the business world, which in turn facilitated divergent (practical) applications of economic thought. Such contrasts of perspective played out particularly in regard to the supposed freedom of economic actors (individuals, associations, firms, civic organizations, governments) to take on social, moral, and ecological responsibility within and through business activities. Namely, the varying paradigms provided economic theory with contrasting normative criteria of what to consider or pursue as economic success.
Only in the 19th and 20th century, scholars promoted and (to some degree) accomplished an isolation of economics from its ethical and cultural foundations, mostly in the name of scientific rigor. Yet, as manifold social, ethical, and ecological problems indicate today, said intellectual program of a "value-free” economics is not wholly unproblematic. This course examines the historical genesis and systematic roots (materialism, positivism, utilitarianism) of the contemporary paradigm and contrasts it with alternate models.
The focus of this course is on how differing theoretical descriptions of economic reality lead to diverging practical prescriptions of economic practice. Illustrating how method impacts content, the lecture aims to promote a conscious and critically self-reflective choice of economic methods with a view to re-embedding ethical, social, and ecological perspectives into economics.
|Course duration:||Flexible, 20 - 30 classroom hours, single lecture or workshop format|
|Faculty:||Prof. Dr. Claus Dierksmeier|