Requiem for homo economicus

Homo economicus rests on the silent premises that human communication today is no different than it was in Adam Smith’s day and therefore human beings relate to each other and to themselves no differently than 225 years ago. In essence, the development of the telegraph followed by the telephone, radio, television, fax, email, and internet have had no
bearing on the way we think about economic agency. Homo economicus never changes.
Proclaiming a requiem for homo economicus is more than just clever rhetoric. It is based on more than just expressions borrowed from other disciplines. The call is grounded in an understanding of human nature that surfaced with the development of electronic communication which altered our awareness of others and of ourselves and gave birth to the philosophy of personalism. Burying homo economicus and substituting homo socioeconomicus bring the basic unit of economic analysis out of the individualism of the 17th and 18th centuries into the personalism of the 20th century.

Posted in Ideas and Papers and tagged , .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *