Economic Objects and the Objects of Economics

  • Peter Róna
  • László  Zsolnai

Part of the Virtues and Economics book series (VIEC, volume 3)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Peter Róna
      Pages 3-8
  3. The Importance of Ontology

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 9-9
    2. Stephen Pratten
      Pages 35-49
    3. Tony Lawson
      Pages 51-68
  4. Ontology of Modern Economics

  5. Temporality, Reactivity and Crowding

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 115-115
    2. Kevin T. Jackson
      Pages 125-140
  6. Implications for Economic Policy

  7. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 183-183
    2. Peter Róna
      Pages 185-192
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 193-196

About this book


This book examines the nature of economic objects that form the subject matter of economics, and studies how they resemble or differ from the objects studied by the natural sciences. It explores the question of whether economic objects created by modern economics  sufficiently represent economic reality, and confronts the question whether tools, techniques and the methodology borrowed from the natural sciences are appropriate for the analysis of economic reality. It demonstrates the unsustainability of rational choice theory. It looks at economic agents, such as individuals, groups, legally constituted entities, algorithms, or robots, how they function and how they are represented in economics. The volume further examines the extent, if any, that mathematics can represent the objects of the economy, such as supply and demand, equilibrium, marginal utility, or the money supply as they actually occur in the economy, and as they are represented in economics. Finally, the volume explores whether the subject matter of economics – however defined – is the proper subject of theoretical knowledge, whether economics is an analytic or a descriptive discipline, or if it is more properly seen in the domain of practical reason. Specifically, the book looks at the importance and the ambiguity of the ontology of modern economics, temporality, reflexivity, the question of incommensurability, and their implications for economic policy.


Ontology of Modern Economics Implications for Economic Policy Moral Question of Fairness Objects of Economics Modern Economics Is Economics a Moral Science New economic practices Rational Choice Theory Economic forecasts Individual income and financial wealth Rational Choice Theory Lack of moral foundations at economic pedagogy Applied economics practice Economic theory Social scientific naturalism with respect to economics Reality of economic life

Editors and affiliations

  • Peter Róna
    • 1
  • László  Zsolnai
    • 2
  1. 1.Blackfriars HallUniversity of OxfordSt. Giles, OxfordUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Business Ethics CenterCorvinus University of BudapestBudapestHungary

Bibliographic information