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L’homo oeconomicus va in pensione

L’homo oeconomicus va mandato in pensione, secondo Margaret Levi. La politologa ne scrive su Edge, rispondendo così alla domanda dell’anno lanciata alla community animata da John Brockman.

Homo economicus is an old idea and a wrong idea, deserving a burial of pomp and circumstance but a burial nonetheless. People can be individualistic and selfish, yes, and under some circumstances narrowly focused on economic wellbeing. But, even those most closely associated with the concept never fully believed it. Hobbes argued that people prefer to act according to the golden rule but that their circumstances often made it difficult. Without rule of law and in a world of theft and predation, people act with defensive selfishness. Adam Smith, whose invisible hand required individual pursuit of narrow interest, recognized that individuals have emotions, sentiments, and morals that influence their thinking. Even Milton Friedman was not sure if narrowly selfish individualism was a correct assumption about human behavior; he didn’t care if the supposition was right or wrong but only cared if it was useful. It no longer is. Continua su Edge.

Da leggere l’insieme delle risposte. Compresa, con indulgenza, quella dell’autore di questo blog dedicata a un tema doveroso: mandiamo in pensione la teoria della tragedia dei beni comuni.


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Luca De Biase

Knowledge and happiness economy Media and information ecology


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