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Beliefs in Action: Economic Philosophy and Social Change (Hardback)
  • Beliefs in Action: Economic Philosophy and Social Change (Hardback)
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Beliefs in Action: Economic Philosophy and Social Change (Hardback)

(author)
£72.00
Hardback 272 Pages / Published: 25/10/1991
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This book is concerned with the role of economic philosophy ('ideas') in the processes of belief-formation and social change. Its aim is to further our understanding of the behaviour of the individual economic agent by bringing to light and examining the function of non-rational dispositions and motivations ('passions') in the determination of the agent's beliefs and goals. Drawing on the work of David Hume and Adam Smith the book spells out the particular ways in which the passions come to affect our ordinary understanding and conduct in practical affairs and the intergenerational and interpersonal transmission of ideas through language. Concern with these problems, it is argued, lies at the heart of an important tradition in British moral philosophy. This emphasis on the non-rational nature of our belief-fixation mechanisms has important implications: it helps to clarify and qualify the misleading claims often made by utilitarian, Marxist, Keynesian and neo-liberal economic philosophers, all of whom stress the overriding power of ideas to shape conduct, policy and institutions.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521393065
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 570 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Fonseca's thesis is argued convincingly with a rich mixture of philosophy and economics blended into a very readable account suitable for both undergraduate and gradutate students." Choice
"...Eduardo Giannetti Da Fonseca presents a provocative and detailed examination of Keynes's claim and, in the process, brings to light a view of the complexity of human nature and an enhanced picture of the growth of knowledge...eliefs in Action is an engaging book. It starts with the idea embraced by many economists that beliefs govern social action, examines that idea from varied perspectives, and ultimately argues that economists are not as influential as they might think. In essence, Da Fonseca challenges his readers at the same time he educates them about views of human nature and the growth of knowledge." Journal of Economic Issues
"...a work of considerable merit." James R. Wible, History of Political Economy

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