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A Foucauldian view of Veblen's institutionalism: Non-teleology and the interdiscursivity between economics and biology


  • Marco Antonio Ribas Cavalieri

    (Associate Professor of Economics at Federal University of Paraná, afilliated with The Graduate Program of Development Economics, Brazil)

  • Iara Vigo de Lima

    (University of Paraná, affiliated with The Graduate Program in Public Policy, Brazil)


This paper explores some ontological and epistemological conditions of the emergence of the Veblenian system of political economy. For that, we refer to Foucault's archaeology of political economy, since it offers insights into some of the relations that help us to understand the underlying structure of thought in Veblen's historical intellectual context. Considering Foucault's archaeology as a reference, it is possible to understand how Veblen, inspired by the epistemological conditions that political economy shared with biology, constructed a unique method in economic thought, thus overcoming what was at that time one of its main characteristics: teleology.

Suggested Citation

  • Marco Antonio Ribas Cavalieri & Iara Vigo de Lima, 2013. "A Foucauldian view of Veblen's institutionalism: Non-teleology and the interdiscursivity between economics and biology," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 14(3–4), pages 199-213.
  • Handle: RePEc:anp:econom:v:14:y:2013:i:2:199_213

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    Thorstein Veble; Institutional economics; Michel Foucault; Archaeology of knowledge; Teleology in economics;

    JEL classification:

    • B15 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology


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