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Ethics and economics in Karl Menger: how did social sciences cope with Hilbertism

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This paper deals with the contributions made to the social sciences by the mathematician Karl Menger (1902-1985), the son of the more famous economist, Carl Menger. Mathematician and a logician, he focused on whether it was possible to explain the social order in formal terms.1 He stressed the need to find the appropriate means with which to treat them, avoiding recourse to historical descriptions, which are unable to yield social laws. He applied Hilbertism to economics and ethics in order to build an axiomatic and formalized model of the individual behavior and the dynamics of social groups.

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  • Becchio Giandomenica, 2009. "Ethics and economics in Karl Menger: how did social sciences cope with Hilbertism," CESMEP Working Papers 200905, University of Turin.
  • Handle: RePEc:uto:cesmep:200905
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    File URL: http://www.cesmep.unito.it/WP/2009/5_WP_Cesmep.pdf
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    1. Golland, Louise Ahrndt, 1996. "Formalism in Economics," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(01), pages 1-12, March.
    2. Cornides, Thomas, 1983. "Karl Menger's contributions to social thought," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 1-11, October.
    3. Robert J. Leonard, 1995. "From Parlor Games to Social Science: Von Neumann, Morgenstern, and the Creation of Game Theory, 1928-1994," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 730-761, June.
    4. Philip Mirowski, 1992. "What Were von Neumann and Morgenstern Trying to Accomplish?," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 24(5), pages 113-147, Supplemen.
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