What’s wrong with the world? Rationality! A critique of economic anthropology in the spirit of Jean Gebser
AbstractJean Gebser (1905-1973) was a multidisciplinary thinker whose ideas about human consciousness and the future inspire the following five vantage points for the heterodox critique of contemporary economic anthropology: (1) Characteristic attributes of consciousness and those of the environment surrounding the individual are equivalent, eliminating the possibility of single-minded, seamless, rational control, especially during macrohistoric phase transitions; (2) Diaphaneity as a mode of deep and comprehensive understanding (an approach that excludes latching on to any selectively focused explanation) will be needed to deal effectively with emerging global resource and environmental problems; (3) Costs in the form of irreversibly accumulating inaccessible energy shadows our evolving civilization, which our cultural conditioning portrays as pure progress; (4) Rationality, as the most laudable motivation for individuals, business firms and nations, has led to an unfounded techno-fetish; and, for various reasons, it fuels accelerated movement toward collective self-destruction; (5) Signs of chaos (not the harmless and controllable kind found in standard economic literature) corroborate the notion that we have entered a new period of macrohistoric phase transition as interpreted by the thermodynamic comprehension of universal history.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 26458.
Date of creation: 05 Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Jean Gebser; global economy; universal history; resource constraints; entropy law; bifurcation; chaos theory;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N01 - Economic History - - General - - - Development of the Discipline: Historiographical; Sources and Methods
- P00 - Economic Systems - - General - - - General
- Z10 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - General
- P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
- B29 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Other
- Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-11-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-EVO-2010-11-13 (Evolutionary Economics)
- NEP-HPE-2010-11-13 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-PKE-2010-11-13 (Post Keynesian Economics)
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