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Pathways to a mindful economy


  • Joel C. Magnuson

    () (Portland College, Rock Creek Social Science Department Chair, Portland, Oregon, USA)


The mindful economics movement seeks to engage a holistic and systems analysis of economic problems associated with capitalism in America. The paper also draws upon elements within the institutionalist approach to economics. Our approach is rooted in the idea that economic activity cannot be separated from, and indeed is embedded within, a broader sphere of human culture. Given this framework, we seek to work toward systemic change by evolving economic institutions through mindful practices as taught in the Buddhist tradition, and integrating these mindful practices into the governance of community enterprises.Parallel to the Buddha’s original teachings of the Four Noble Truths of human suffering, we submit another set of Four Truths specifically for economic analysis: (1) there are systems conditions that give rise to pathology embedded in the economy of the United States; (2) these conditions are largely, but not exclusively, rooted in the logic and culture of capitalism itself; (3) there is much people have done, and can do, to change the conditions of the system by building alternative institutions; and (4) the pathway for changing systems conditions begins at the local level where people and communities can, with appropriate mindfulness, evolve new institutions that will lead toward human and ecological well-being.

Suggested Citation

  • Joel C. Magnuson, 2007. "Pathways to a mindful economy," Society and Economy, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 29(2), pages 253-284, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:aka:soceco:v:29:y:2007:i:2:p:253-284

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