Toward a Public and Professional Identity for Our Economics
Aristotle said, â€œCharacter is that which reveals moral purpose, exposing the class of things a man chooses or avoids.â€ Perhaps ten percent of economists in the United States have characters similar to those of Adam Smith, Edwin Cannan, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ronald Coase, and James Buchanan. A character is not an identity, however. An identity is a name that functions openly in the culture. Identity is a cultural enterprise of the individuals constituting the community it identifies. This essay suggests that there is a latent demand for a new identity to represent the character represented by Smith, Cannan, Hayek, Friedman, Coase, and Buchanan. I briefly characterize the character in question, discuss the benefits of building an identity for it, and suggest how to move forward. I invite further exploration by way of a questionnaire. I intend to put the questionnaire to a selection of economists and make the completed questionnaires available online.
Volume (Year): 5 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
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