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Anthropology as the basic science of economic theory: towards a cultural theory of economics

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  • Nils Goldschmidt
  • Bernd Remmele
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    Abstract

    Economics and culture are in a complex, developing relation to each other. Yet, to introduce 'culture' into economic theory requires, first of all, an appropriate understanding of culture itself. The crucial point of this paper is that culture in its development and structure is only understandable if one considers it in connection with the autonomous structural development of the forms with which the subjects experience and construct their world. In recognition of the socio-cultural organization of human society, there is no absolute autonomy of individuals in comparison to society and economics, while together with this interdependency the development of rationality exceeds mere instrumentality. Through ontogenesis, every individual is located 'within the boundaries of society'. What are consequences for economic theory? First of all: Economics is a cultural science in a double sense. Its object is the changing world of economic phenomena that are bound in a very specific cultural context. However, culture is not only relevant for the phenomena of socio-economic life, but also for the phenomena of economic science, i.e. for the development of economic thought.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13501780500223783
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Economic Methodology.

    Volume (Year): 12 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 455-469

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:12:y:2005:i:3:p:455-469

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    Related research

    Keywords: anthropology; constitutional economics; culture; historic-genetic approach; individualism; moral development; rationality;

    References

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    1. Buchanan, James M, 1995. "Economic Science and Cultural Diversity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 193-200.
    2. David Colander, 2002. "The Death of Neoclassical Economics," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0237, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    3. Hands,D. Wade, 2001. "Reflection without Rules," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521797962, April.
    4. Coase, Ronald, 1998. "The New Institutional Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 72-74, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Christian Schubert, 2006. "A Note on the Principle of "Normative Individualism"," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2005-17, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
    2. Michael J. Pisani & Thomas M. Fullerton, Jr., 2013. "Microenterprise Peso Acceptance in El Paso, Texas," Ensayos Revista de Economia, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Facultad de Economia, vol. 0(2), pages 75-94, November.
    3. Piero Ferri & Anna Maria Variato, 2007. "Macro Dynamics in a Model with Uncertainty," Working Papers 0704, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
    4. Zweynert, Joachim, 2007. "Interests versus culture in the theory of institutional change?," HWWI Research Papers 5-3, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).

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