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Greatest Happiness Principle in a Complex System Approach

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  • Katalin Martinás

    () (Department of Atomic Physics, Eötvös Loránd University)

Abstract

The principle of greatest happiness was the basis of ethics in Plato's and Aristotle's work, it served as the basis of utility principle in economics, and the happiness research has become a hot topic in social sciences in Western countries in particular in economics recently. Nevertheless there is a considerable scientific pessimism over whether it is even possible to affect sustainable increases in happiness. In this paper we outline an economic theory of decision based on the greatest happiness principle (GHP). Modern equilibrium economics is a simple system simplification of the GHP, the complex approach outlines a non-equilibrium economic theory. The comparison of the approaches reveals the fact that the part of the results - laws of modern economics - follow from the simplifications and they are against the economic nature. The most important consequence is that within the free market economy one cannot be sure that the path found by it leads to a beneficial economic system.

Suggested Citation

  • Katalin Martinás, 2012. "Greatest Happiness Principle in a Complex System Approach," Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems - scientific journal, Croatian Interdisciplinary Society Provider Homepage: http://indecs.eu, vol. 10(2), pages 88-102.
  • Handle: RePEc:zna:indecs:v:10:y:2012:i:2:p:88-102
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sigot, Nathalie, 2002. "Jevons's Debt to Bentham: Mathematical Economy, Morals and Psychology," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 70(2), pages 262-278, March.
    2. Simone Borghesi & Alessandro Vercelli, 2012. "Happiness And Health: Two Paradoxes," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(2), pages 203-233, April.
    3. S. A. Amelkin, 2004. "Limiting Possibilities of Resource Exchange Process in Complex Open Microeconomic System," Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems - scientific journal, Croatian Interdisciplinary Society Provider Homepage: http://indecs.eu, vol. 2(1), pages 43-52.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    greatest happiness principle; complex systems; non-equilibrium economic theory;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D50 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - General
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other

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