Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Why Study Economics Philosophically?

“Students of economic activity, on the other hand, are no less driven on to philosophical study if they pressed their curiosity to its limits. It tells us only about its development. Economic science, moreover, is abstract and tells us not about men’s reasoned actions, but about laws or tendencies, the disguise under which the action appears it is considered in abstraction as mere behaviour. History and Science accept their object and take it for granted. They inquire neither into its categories nor into those which they themselves employ; but if the value and meaning of their results are to be rightly assessed, a criticism of those categories is required, and this is the task or part of the task of the philosophic study of the economic sphere…  while it will use the results of history and science it will stand outside them both instead of helplessly oscillating between them…”   -- T.M. Knox, "The Study of Economic Activity," Philosophy, 1936

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