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Veblen's "Instinct of Workmanship," its Cognitive Foundations, and Some Implications for Economic Theory

  • Christian Cordes

    ()

This paper delivers some findings from the present-day cognitive sciences on man’s cognitive dispositions that support aspects of Veblen’s "nstinct of workmanship," which is an essential starting point of his evolutionary theory of institutional change. These cognitive dispositions partly govern which information will be subject to profound contemplation and be easy to disseminate within a population. Furthermore, they may give rise to a bias in human creativity. As a result, some cognitive foundations of the "nstinct of workmanship" may induce a general direction in long-term economic development by influencing the continuous accretion of knowledge during cultural evolution.

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Paper provided by Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography in its series Papers on Economics and Evolution with number 2004-01.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2004-01
Contact details of provider: Postal: Deutschhausstrasse 10, 35032 Marburg
Phone: 064212824257
Fax: 064212828950
Web page: http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb19/Email:


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  1. Olivier Brette, 2003. "Thorstein Veblen's theory of institutional change: beyond technological determinism," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 455-477.
  2. Boyd, Robert & Richerson, Peter J., 1980. "Sociobiology, culture and economic theory," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 97-121, June.
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