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Veblen's "Instinct of Workmanship," its Cognitive Foundations, and Some Implications for Economic Theory

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  • Christian Cordes

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Abstract

This paper delivers some findings from the present-day cognitive sciences on man’s cognitive dispositions that support aspects of Veblen’s "nstinct of workmanship," which is an essential starting point of his evolutionary theory of institutional change. These cognitive dispositions partly govern which information will be subject to profound contemplation and be easy to disseminate within a population. Furthermore, they may give rise to a bias in human creativity. As a result, some cognitive foundations of the "nstinct of workmanship" may induce a general direction in long-term economic development by influencing the continuous accretion of knowledge during cultural evolution.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2004-01.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2004-01

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Web page: http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb19/
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Keywords: human instincts; technological change; institutional change; longterm economic development; evolutionary economics;

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References

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  1. Boyd, Robert & Richerson, Peter J., 1980. "Sociobiology, culture and economic theory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 97-121, June.
  2. Olivier Brette, 2003. "Thorstein Veblen's theory of institutional change: beyond technological determinism," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 455-477.
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Cited by:
  1. Guido Buenstorf & Christian Cordes, 2007. "Can Sustainable Consumption Be Learned?," Papers on Economics and Evolution, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography 2007-06, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  2. Christian Cordes & Peter J. Richerson & Richard McElreath & Pontus Strimling, 2006. "How Does Opportunistic Behavior Influence Firm Size?," Papers on Economics and Evolution, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography 2006-18, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  3. Christian Cordes & Peter J. Richerson & Richard McElreath & Pontus Strimling, 2006. "A Naturalistic Approach to the Theory of the Firm: The Role of Cooperation and Cultural Evolution," Papers on Economics and Evolution, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography 2006-06, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  4. Ciarli, Tommaso & Parto, Saeed & Savona, Maria, 2010. "Conflict and Entrepreneurial Activity in Afghanistan: Findings from the National Risk Vulnerability Assessment Data," Working Paper Series, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) UNU-WIDER Working Paper W, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  5. Christian Cordes, 2006. "Darwinism in economics: from analogy to continuity," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 16(5), pages 529-541, December.
  6. Christian Cordes, 2007. "The Role of Biology and Culture in Veblenian Consumption Dynamics," Papers on Economics and Evolution, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography 2007-13, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.

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