Disappearance of Accountability and Sympathy in Economics, and the Possibility of Their Restoration

경제학에서 책임과 공감의 실종 및 그 복원 가능성

  • 최정규 (경북대학교 경제통상학부)
  • Received : 2015.03.02
  • Accepted : 2015.03.20
  • Published : 2015.03.31


This study investigates the history of economics for answering how the discipline originating from a sub-discipline of moral philosophy ended up being an amoral science. I show that economic theory, at its first stage of development, has retained a place in which morality could play a role within liberalist framework, but has removed the very place as it developed into its current image. I argue that it is the Walrasian paradigm that completed this amoralizing process in economics. One theoretical assumption of complete contract in the Walrasian paradigm, creates the institutional environment where economic agents are free from any moral consideration. I show that if the assumption is relaxed, the problem of economic agents' morality should reappear in the stage. Accepting the assumption of incomplete contract opens a way to restore the room for economic agents' moral considerations in economic discourses. Finally I breifly survey the recent discussions on the role of sympathy in economics.


Supported by : 한국연구재단


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