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Theoretical and Applied Economics
No. 5 / 2013 (582)

The natural foundation

„When understanding and constructing the concept of utility, as well as in the case of many other concepts - such as growth, for instance, there is seemingly treason in the flight from biology, psychology and anthropology, when in fact all that is needed by Economics is an immediate and definitive exit from the methodological and expressional territory of classical Physics.”

The major restriction in understanding rationality lies in the internalization of the fundamentals of economicity as elements of a prevalently human nature. Until now the cognitive experience seemed to overcome the limits because it used to split the profound meanings of the conceptualization into the objective guidelines of the human condition. Labour, work and action were eminently compatible with the sphere of meanings and knowledge created by the main cognitive sequence which is the study of matter, energy and information.

However, because it starts from the suggestions and acquisitions of the main cognitive sequence, without identifying within the fundamentals of economicity the natural foundation - which is inevitably placed in the human nature, Economics rather remains a technology for the phenomena of yield, to which the determinant cause for the components of the human condition is dispensable. Economics has theorized within the spectrum of concreteness, has operated with the dialectics of existential components suitable for rationalization, has provided the individual with guidelines in the material order - the ideal being the accumulation of wealth, has arranged for an energetical involvement into the action so as to appraise it with commensurable results. In these conditions the major restriction does indeed disappear, but this oddity occurs because of the vanishing of the very source of the contents of the human condition. This is not only inadmissible, but even wrong for the status of Economics as a socio-human science.

The phenomenology stemming from the exclusively materialistic conceptualization of the fundamentals of economicity was proven to serve the instrumental drive in regulating man's relationship with the natural environment. Thus, Economics has evolved towards the condition of a science of yield on the path defined by quantity. And so, the increase of wealth, in its various expressions, has the tendency to become its own purpose. The epistemic condition became accessible through a configuration of the object resembling the method of the natural sciences, with the substantiation of the action lending the senses with the basis for the founding of rational thinking. The ingredients for reinforcing this conceptual construct have been refined through fragmentarism, specialization or delocalization, as elements logically dependent on the super-centring of motivation on the individual when finding a solution to the problem of wealth.

On this path, however unusual, Economics has forgotten the determinants of its own object. The causes for the generation of wealth have been overturned, their place taken by the consequences - themselves identified as generic social values of performance. Prosperity, for instance, came to cover most of the meanings of rationality but without reasonably expressing the true nature of economicity. Connecting its potentiality with private ownership has generated an epistemic bubble ill fitted to the social purpose of the economic activity. The association of societal values further increased the deviant bubble in which Economics had been forced to structure itself by objectifying its territory of meaning.

Practically, Economics was coaxed into being interested exclusively by short-term-maximized material aspects, to limit itself to the combining of consumable factors, to base the evaluation of profit and loss only on the individual interest. The introduction of the concept of utility into the equation of cognition is the symptomatic result of the epistemological approximations preferred by Economics. Any stride toward fixing the concrete elements of utility leads in a direction contrary to the practice of materiality, with utility being left - deep down within itself - to alchemically combine the subjectual pleasure with the idealizing bliss; or, in other words, to sublimate the already fluid enough contents of the human nature. Utility not only atomizes Economics' object of study, but also sends it into the area of the errors of substituting the methods of knowledge and extracting its essence from the natural space of intersubjectivity.

If pleasure and/or happiness cover the content of utility, then economic cognition has an insoluble problem in positioning correctly into the coordinates of the science it pretends to be. Frankly, in the case of understanding and constructing the concept of utility, as well as many other concepts - such as growth, for instance, there is seemingly treason in the flight from biology, psychology and anthropology, when in fact all that is needed by Economics is an immediate and definitive exit from the methodological and expressional territory of classical Physics. Surely, it could follow a path of corrections if it would take a detour of initiation into the territory of quantum Physics, especially in order to learn the habit of loading its object of study with the human mind and to cognitively operate in an ineffable space, suitable to the theoretical exercise of quantum mechanics. Economicity gains sense in contexts bestowed with intelligence, thought, memory and will.

The science of Economics being tethered by the knowledge of the randamental drives of the three alignments of the human condition - labour, work and action - has neglected the knowledge of the context in which these have sense, which is essentially the origin for the existence of the object of economicity. Almost invariably, the explanations of economic processes have been formulated in a mechanical manner, the fluctuations of volume and intensity of the results have been statistically conceptualized, the causes of crises have been explained in exogenous terms, and performance has been attributed to managerial skill. The economic evolution gives the measure of societal progress through global indicators, without releasing the full image with the diversity of details, with the statistical mediums levelling the sensitive differentials in the state of the economy.

The algorithm honed by the discourse of Economics is, as can be seen from the previous presentation, extremely diffuse. This embarrassing aspect is not due to - as frequently argued - the complexity of the object of Economics, but due to a cognitive conjecture in which it has been treated. The key for escaping this predicament lies in reinstating the equilibrium of the accents in the understanding of the fundamentals of Economics, because these are dually fixed in the determinants of the human condition (labour, work, action) and those of the human nature (thought, sentiments, emotions, motivations, goals).

The natural foundation of the object of study of Economics is the common sense, as a significant synthesis of the human nature, the placenta of the human condition.


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The natural foundation
Marin Dinu

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The Economicity. The Epistemic Landscape, Marin Dinu, 2016

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