Markets, Productivity, and Happiness in a Historical Perspective

Struggling knowledge and the dilemmas of economics: Ideologies and the co-evolution of economics

Sturn Richard, Institute of Public Economics, University of Graz

I discuss the inevitable and ambivalent (“innovative” as well as distortive) ideological influences on theory formation in the sense of Joseph Schumpeter and the possibilities of the integration of corresponding ideology-critical horizons into the constitution of economics. The examination of the relevance of ideology in the development of economics facilitates a differentiated critique of technicist-rationalist narrowness without ignoring the specific potential of economics as a scientific discipline. My analyses are dealing with the ideological potentials related to the (mis-)representation of power and its social function, the role of abstract dichotomies (e.g., allocation ‒ distribution), of partial analyses, and of core concepts such as scarcity, instrumental rationality, exchange, contract, including the abstraction from human sociality in models of price-taking and complete contracts.

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Keywords: Ideology, progress, power, Schumpeter, sociology of knowledge, Whig-History

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