IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Bilder in der Geschichte der Ökonomie: Das Beispiel der Metapher von der Wirtschaft als Maschine


  • Ötsch, Walter


In der ökonomischen Theorie haben Metaphern (als Formen eines bildhaften Sprachgebrauchs) immer eine besondere Rolle gespielt. Nach einem historischen Überblick über das Konzept von Metaphern wird die Geschichte des dominanten Stranges in der ökonomischen Theorie als Geschichte einer Metapher von der Maschine skiziiert In der Geschichte der ökonomischen Theorie finden sich immer Metaphern, diese können als Formen eines bildhaften Sprachgebrauchs verstanden werden. Eine besondere Rolle hat im Hauptrang der Theorieentwicklung die Metapher von der Maschine gespielt. Nach einem historischen Überblick über das Konzept von Metaphern (Kap. 1) und der Kulturgeschichte der Metapher von der Maschine (Kap. 3) wird die Geschichte der ökonomischen Theorie als achtstufige Geschichte einer Metapher von der Maschine skizziert: Bei Quesnay als einer machine économique mit Bezug auf die Philosophie von Descartes, bei Smith eine natural order mit Bezug auf die Mechanik bei Newton, bei Malthus und Ricardo als Konzept von ökonomischen Gesetzen in Analogie zu Naturgesetzen in einer Neuinterpretation von Newton - ähnlich auch bei John Stuart Mill, bei Jevons und Walras als explizit ausformulierte "mechanistische Nationalökonomie", bei Autoren wie Gérald Debreu als Neuformulierung des Ansatzes von Walras als einer Informationsmechanik, sowie bei Friedrich August von Hayek als Konzept von "dem Markt" als einem Informationsnetzwerk in Analogie zu einem Telekommunikationssystem.

Suggested Citation

  • Ötsch, Walter, 2018. "Bilder in der Geschichte der Ökonomie: Das Beispiel der Metapher von der Wirtschaft als Maschine," Working Paper Series Ök-42, Cusanus Hochschule für Gesellschaftsgestaltung, Institut für Ökonomie.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:cuswps:oek42

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mirowski, Philip & Nik-Khah, Edward, 2017. "The Knowledge We Have Lost in Information: The History of Information in Modern Economics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780190270056, Decembrie.
    2. Amadae, S.M., 2003. "Rationalizing Capitalist Democracy," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226016535, June.
    3. Charles M.A. Clark, 1992. "Economic Theory And Natural Philosophy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 89, December.
    4. Dusan Pokorny, 1978. "Smith and Walras: Two Theories of Science," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 11(3), pages 387-403, August.
    5. Sergio Cremaschi, 2010. "Malthus’s idea of a moral and political science," The Journal of Philosophical Economics, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, The Journal of Philosophical Economics, vol. 3(2), pages 5-57, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Roger E. Backhouse & Steven G. Medema, 2009. "Retrospectives: On the Definition of Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 221-233, Winter.
    2. Guilhem Lecouteux, 2018. "What does “we” want? Team Reasoning, Game Theory, and Unselfish Behaviours," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 128(3), pages 311-332.
    3. José Luís Cardoso, 2015. "Liberalism and enlightened political economy," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(6), pages 934-948, December.
    4. Bodó, Balázs & Brekke, Jaya Klara & Hoepman, Jaap-Henk, 2021. "Decentralisation: A multidisciplinary perspective," Internet Policy Review: Journal on Internet Regulation, Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG), Berlin, vol. 10(2), pages 1-21.
    5. Clive Beed & Cara Beed, 1996. "Polarities between Naturalism and Non-Naturalism in Contemporary Economics: An Overview," Journal of Economic Issues, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(4), pages 1077-1104, December.
    6. Yefimov, Vladimir, 2014. "Constructivisme social, évolution de la profession d’économiste, et projet pour sa réforme radicale [Social constructivism, Evolution of the economics profession, and design for its radical reform]," MPRA Paper 54594, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Charles M. A. Clark & Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan, 2020. "Artificial Intelligence and Human Flourishing," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 79(4), pages 1307-1344, September.
    8. Dorian Jullien, 2013. "Asian Disease-type of Framing of Outcomes as an Historical Curiosity," GREDEG Working Papers 2013-47, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.
    9. Ötsch, Walter, 2020. "Wissen, Nichtwissen und falsches Wissen bei Hayek: Vom Wissensverlust der ökonomisierten Gesellschaft," Working Paper Series 66, Cusanus Hochschule für Gesellschaftsgestaltung, Institut für Ökonomie.
    10. Octavian-Dragomir Jora & Matei Alexandru Apavaloaei & Mihai-Vladimir Topan & Tudor-Gherasim Smirna, 2022. "The Market for Ideas and Its Validation Filters: Scientific Truth, Economic Profit and Political Approval," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 24(Special16), pages 884-884, November.
    11. Vladiir Yefimov, 2015. "Two Disputes Of Methods, Three Constructivisms, And Three Liberalisms. Part I," Economy of region, Centre for Economic Security, Institute of Economics of Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, vol. 1(1), pages 29-38.
    12. Cherrier, Beatrice & Svorenčík, Andrej, 2017. "Defining Excellence: 70 Years of John Bates Clark Medals," SocArXiv bacmj, Center for Open Science.
    13. Charles M. A. Clark, 2021. "Development Policy and the Poor, Part 2: Preferential Option for the Poor," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 80(4), pages 1131-1154, September.
    14. Fèvre, Raphaël, 2021. "The Madman and the Economist(s): Georges Bataille and François Perroux as French Critiques of the Marshall Plan," OSF Preprints 6hnvk, Center for Open Science.
    15. Cléo Chassonnery-Zaïgouche & Lauren Larrouy, 2017. "“From warfare to welfare”: Contextualising Arrow and Schelling's models of racial inequalities (1968–1972)," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(6), pages 1355-1387, November.
    16. Yefimov, V. M., 2015. "Two Disputes of Methods Three Constructivisms and Three Liberalisms. Part I," R-Economy, Ural Federal University, Graduate School of Economics and Management, vol. 1(1), pages 24-33.
    17. A. Maltsev., 2015. "History of Economic Thought, Quo vadis?," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 3.
    18. Kirtchik, Olessia & Boldyrev, Ivan, 2024. "“Rise And Fall” Of The Walrasian Program In Economics: A Social And Intellectual Dynamics Of The General Equilibrium Theory," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(1), pages 1-26, March.
    19. Antoinette Baujard, 2021. "Values in Welfare economics," Working Papers halshs-03244909, HAL.
    20. Lejla Terzić, 2023. "Why is the transition to a green economy important for achieving sustainability? A review of some theoretical approaches and empirical research presented in the literature," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 3, pages 307-332.

    More about this item


    Mechanistische Metapher; Mechanistik; Sozialphysik; Marktbegriff; Ordnungsbegriff; Philosophie der Ökonomie; naturwissenschaftliches Weltbild; Mensch als Maschine;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B10 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - General
    • B21 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Microeconomics
    • B25 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Austrian; Stockholm School
    • B30 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - General
    • B53 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Austrian
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:cuswps:oek42. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.