12 Pages

Knowledge and Society: An Introduction

This chapter discusses the development of economic thought in relation to societal issues and politics. It discusses how economics has developed as a science with more and more elaborate and rigorous theoretical approaches and how there is a deep split in economics between those who take a more institutional perspective and neo-classics. Hard-line free marketeers argue that economic freedom might come before political freedom, because free market economies would eventually rule out dictatorship. A general theory of collaboration relates to issues such as efficiency, effectiveness, fairness, acceptability and sustainable social and economic development. In Germany an economic theory was developed based not so much on theoretical considerations as on the study and generalisation of historical experience. The marginal revolution that brought economic thinking into the paradigm that has been called neo-classic theory is identified with three economists: Stanley Jevons in England, Leon Walras in Switzerland and Carl Menger in Austria.