A bold call for a revolution in economics—by returning to its past
Economics is primed for a revolution, says respected economic forecaster John D. Mueller. To make this leap forward will require looking backward, for as Redeeming Economics reveals, the most important element of economic theory has been ignored for more than two centuries.
Since the great Adam Smith tore down this pillar of economic thought, economic theory has had no way to account for a fundamental aspect of human experience: the social relationships that define us, the loves (and hates) that motivate and distinguish us as persons. In trying to reduce human behavior to mere exchanges, modern economists have lost sight of how these essential motivations are expressed: as gifts (or their opposite, crimes). Mueller makes economics whole again, masterfully reapplying economic thought as articulated by Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas.
Contrarian and compelling, Redeeming Economics covers everything from unemployment, to inflation, to the economics of parenthood, to the greatest geopolitical challenge facing the United States, to flaws in the mega-bestseller Freakonomics, to the author's illuminating exchange with the controversial philosopher Peter Singer.
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“The scope of Mueller’s intellectual ambition in this book is truly astonishing, as is the scope of the research involved. . . . People should invest the time needed to read, absorb, and promote this important book.”
“Mueller points out, the family is the fundamental productive unit. It produces a nation’s most valuable resource: human beings, hopefully socialized ones. . . . There is much hype about the conflict between economic and social conservatives. But if Mueller is right, the two visions are basically complementary. . . . His writing does suggest some of the weaknesses of modern conservatism. . . . Conservatives may need to outgrow Adam Smith and develop a newer, deeper understanding of economics, the family and justice.”
“Mueller opens discussion on essential topics for people of all faiths, political orientations , and worldviews and does so in ways that probe the limits of rational choice and foster interdisciplinary conversation.”
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