The rise of pure economics under a new form of scholasticism in view of the present socio-economic system

  • Yuji ArukaEmail author


The mainstream of economics still stands on the elements of pure economics. On the contrary, new analytical tools outside the field of economics are thriving by focusing on the socio-economics system. We need examinations of new analytical tools and the ideas of equilibria. In modern times, socio-economic factors changing the economic system should no longer be regarded as negligible. The idea of reciprocity will urge to reconsider the traditional rationalism. In the depth of these objections against the mainstream, however, the so-called theological rationalism will be revealed. The bounded rationality principle then is not deviating from the track set by the traditional rationalism, but is rather an extended form of it. In this article, we will identify the mainstream of economics with a new form of scholasticism originated from Neo-Thomism based on the School of Salamanca rising during 16–18th century. Realities in general are distorted from the ideal state. Given such a distortion, in the scholastic view, human free will can be exerted in conformity with God’s will. The bigger the distortion, the more human free will can be justified. However, it requires a lengthier sufficiency proof with additional assumptions and conditions. The proof of ideal states may then require a more complicated modeling. The resulting fact that the degree of complication may be much greater in modeling is very welcome in the sense that this kind of work, occasionally involving mathematical refinements, could a fortiori provide economics with the ideal goal grounded by divine inspiration. The distortion should thus be spiritually purified. Moreover, we also provide a historical note on the formation of the mental sources of capitalism. Prior to the Austrian theory, the Salamanca school definitely took into account the harmony between reality and scholasticus. Here, an interesting pragmatic compatibility between the purity of God and the chaos fabricated by secular human greed arises, but it is well known that Weber (The Protestant ethic and the “Spirit” of capitalism and other writings. Penguin, Westminster, 1905) found the source of capitalism in Protestantism. In this context, however, we learned that another moral source of capitalism was found in Catholicism in the form of scholasticism, although it must be strictly suppressed the idea to summarize scholastic arguments as the main principle of Catholicism. Readers in advance must carefully keep from identify the modern Catholic School’s Charter of bonus commune (the common good) and the personalism with capitalistic individualism. Finally, we notice that bounded rationality is regarded as a sophisticated demonstration to vindicate rationalism in conformity with a traditional scholastic manner.


Thomism Scholaticus Pure ecomoics Rationality Bounded rationality 

JEL Classification

A12 A13 B11 B41 B52 



This paper was supported by JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) No. 26282089. It is noted that this paper is an extended detailed version of Aruka (2015b) written in Japanese.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Aoki M, Yoshikawa H (2007) Reconstructing macroeconomics: a perspective from statistical physics and combinatorial stochastic processes. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  2. Aoki M, Yoshikawa H (2012) Non-self-averaging in macroeconomic models: a criticism of modern micro-founded macroeconomics. J Econ Interact Coord 7(1):1–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Arthur WB (1994) Increasing returns and path dependence in the economy. University of Michigan Press, MichiganGoogle Scholar
  4. Arthur WB (2009) The nature of technology. Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Aruka Y (2015a) Evolutionary foundations of economic science: how can scientists study evolving economic doctrines from the last centuries? Springer, Tokyo and New York (Evolutionary Economics and Social Complexity Science, vol 1)Google Scholar
  6. Aruka Y (2015b) The origin of pure economics and the neo-scholasticism. In: Yagi K et al (2015) Keizaigaku to keizaikyoiku no mirai. Sakurai-Shoten, Tokyo, pp 125–144 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  7. Axelrod R (1984) The evolution of cooperation. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Axelrod R, Hamilton WD (1981) The evolution of cooperation. Science 211:1390–1396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bowles S, Gintis H (2005) Can self-interest explain cooperation? Evol Inst Econ Rev 2(1):21–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Coase RH (1960) The problem of social cost. J Law Econ 3:1–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cook JD (2010) Central limit theorems., linked from Cook (2010): How the central limit theorem began?
  12. Gintis H (2006) Behavioral ethics meets natural justice. Politics Philos Econ 5:5–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gintis H (2009) The bounds of reason: game theory and the unification of the behavioral sciences. Princeton UP, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  14. Goodwin RM (1950) A nonlinear theory of the cycle. Rev Econ Stat 32:316–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Goodwin RM (1951) The nonlinear accelerator and the persistence of business cycles. Econometrica 19(1):1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Goodwin RM (1990) Chaotic economic dynamics. Clarendon Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hamilton WD (1964) The genetical evolution of social behavior. J Theor Biol 7(1–16):17–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hawkins R (2011) Lending sociodynamics and economic instability. Phys A 390:4355–4369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hayek F (1973) Law legislation and liberty, vol 1. Rules and order. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  20. Helbing D (2013) Economics 2.0: the natural step towards a self-regulating, participatory market society. Evol Inst Econ Rev 10(1):3–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Helbing D, Kirman A (2013) Rethinking economics using complexity theory. Real-World Econ Rev 64:23–51Google Scholar
  22. Helbing D, Lozano S (2010) Phase transitions to cooperation in the prisoner’s dilemma. Phys Rev E 81(5):057102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Helbing D, Yu W, Rauhut H (2011) Self-organization and emergence in social systems: modeling the coevolution of social environments and cooperative behavior. J Math Sociol 35(1-3):177–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hildenbrand W (1994) Market demand. Princeton University Press, PrincetonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hodgson G (2012) From pleasure machines to moral communities: an evolutionary economics without homo economicus. Cambridge UP, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hossein HS (2003) Contributions of medieval Muslim scholars to the history of economics and their impact: a refutation of the Schumpetarian Great Gap. In Samuels WJ, Biddle JE, Davis JB (eds) Companion to the history of economic thought. Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken, Chapter 3Google Scholar
  27. Keynes JM (1936) The general theory of employment, interest and money. Macmillan, London (reprinted 2007)Google Scholar
  28. Klein N (2007) The shock doctrine: the rise of disaster capitalism. Knopf Canada (A Penguin Random House Company), TorontoGoogle Scholar
  29. Kono N (2008) Noncooperative game in cooperation: reformulation of correlated equilibria. Kyoto Econ Rev 77(2):107–125Google Scholar
  30. Kono N (2009) Noncooperative game in cooperation: reformulation of correlated equilibria (II). Kyoto Econ Rev 78(1):1–18Google Scholar
  31. Kono N (2011) Nash equilibria with negotiations. In Aoki M, Aoyama H, Aruka Y, Yoshikawa H (eds) Keizai-kyoshitsu no 50 keywords [Economics Classroom of 50 key words]. Tokyo-Tosho Publishing, Tokyo, pp 41–48 (no. 3) (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  32. Kuwabara K (2009) Salamanca school on globalization. Sophia Philosophica (Departmental Bulletin Paper 28-Feb-2009), pp 15–29 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  33. Leijonhufvud A (1973) Life among the econ. West Econ J 11(3):327–337Google Scholar
  34. Lorenz K (1965) Evolution and modification of behavior. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  35. Lux T (2009) Rational forecast or social opinion dynamics? Identification of interaction effects in a business climate survey. J Econ Behav Organ 72:638–655CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mainzer K (2007) Der kreative Zufall: Wie das Neue in die Welt kommt. C. H. Beck, MünchenGoogle Scholar
  37. Mainzer K (2010) Leben als Maschine? Von der Systembiologie zur Robotik und Knstlichen Intelligenz. Mentis, PaderbornGoogle Scholar
  38. Marrengo L, Pasquali C (2011) The construction of choice: a computational voting model. J Econ Interact 6(1):139–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Marrengo L, Pasquali C (2012) How to get what you want when you do not know what you want: a model of incentives, organizational structure, and learning. Organ Sci 23(5):1298–1310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Mill JS (1844) On the definition of political economy; and on the method of investigation proper to it. In: Collected Works of John Stuart Mill Essays on some unsettled questions of political economy, vol 4. Longmans, London (Library economics liberty:
  41. Mizuno T, Watanabe T (2010) A statistical analysis of product prices in online market. Eur Phys J B 76:501–505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mizuno T, Nirei M, Watanabe T (2010) Closely competing firms and price adjustment: some findings from an online marketplace? Scand J Econ 112(4):673–696CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Mueller JD (2014) Redeeming economics: rediscovering the missing element (culture of enterprise). Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Wilmington, DelawareGoogle Scholar
  44. Nowak MA, Sigmund K (1993) A strategy of win-stay, lose-shift that outperforms tit for tat in Prisoner’s Dilemma. Nature 364 (6432):56–58. Bibcode:1993 Natur 364…56 N. doi: 10.1038/364056a0
  45. Schumpeter JA (1954) History of economic analysis. Allen & Unwin, London (Edited from a manuscript by Elizabeth Boody Schumpeter)Google Scholar
  46. Takizawa H (2014) Model-kagaku toshiteno keizaigaku [Economics as a modeling science and the methodology of J.S. Mill]. In: Shiozawa Y, Aruka Y (eds) Keizaigaku wo Saiken suru [Constructing economics in view of evolutionary economics and political economy]. Chuo University Press, Tokyo, Chapter 9 (in Japanese)Google Scholar
  47. Tawney RH (1926) Religion and the rise of capitalism: a historical study. Harcourt, BraceGoogle Scholar
  48. Walras L (1874) Éléments d’économie politique pure, ou théorie de la richesse sociale (Elements of Pure Economics, or the theory of social wealth, transl. W. Jaffé), 1899, 4th ed.; 1926, rev ed., 1954, Engl. transl.Google Scholar
  49. Weber M (1905) Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus. In English: Baehr PR, Wells GC (eds) (2002) The Protestant ethic and the “Spirit” of capitalism and other writings. Penguin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  50. Yagi K (ed) (2008) Hi-seiouken no keizaigaku [Economics in the non-western area]. Nippon-Keizai-Hyoron-sha, Tokyo (in Japanese)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Japan Association for Evolutionary Economics 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Chuo UniversityTokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations