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Hegel’s “Objective Spirit” and its Contemporary Relevance for the Philosophy of Economics

Listed author(s):
  • Ivan Boldyrev

    ()

    (National Research University Higher School of Economics)

  • Carsten Herrmann-Pillath

    ()

    (East-West Centre for Business Studies and Cultural Science, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management)

This paper explores the implications of the recent revival of Hegel studies for the philosophy of economics. We argue that Hegel’s theory of Objective Spirit anticipates many elements of modern approaches in cognitive sciences and of the philosophy of mind, which adopt an externalist framework. In particular, Hegel pre-empts the theories of social and distributed cognition. The pivotal elements of Hegelian social ontology are the continuity thesis, the performativity thesis, and the recognition thesis, which, when taken together, imply that all mental processes are essentially dependent on externalizations, with the underlying pattern of actions being performative. In turn, performative action is impossible without mutual recognition in an intersubjective domain. We demonstrate the implications for economic theory in sketching an externalist approach to institutions and preferences.

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File URL: http://www.hse.ru/data/2012/05/10/1253557591/05HUM2012.pdf
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Paper provided by National Research University Higher School of Economics in its series HSE Working papers with number WP BRP 05/HUM/2012.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Publication status: Published in WP BRP Series: Humanities / HUM, May 2012, pages 1-27
Handle: RePEc:hig:wpaper:05hum2012
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  1. Henderson, James P. & Davis, John B., 1991. "Adam Smith's Influence on Hegel's Philosophical Writings," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 184-204, September.
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