Where Economics and Philosophy Meet

Review of the Elgar Companion to Economics and Philosophy with Responses from the Authors

Originally published in The Economic Journal

This is a review of the Elgar Companion to Economics and Philosophy with responses from the authors.

Although Adam Smith’s 1776 Wealth of Nations is often cited as marking the birth of economics, it was really not until after the Second World War that economics became the distinctive, more or less unified, and largely separate discipline summarized in the textbooks of today. Even a mere fifty years ago, it was possible for the intelligent reader to move with relative ease between economics on the one hand and political economy, sociology and social theory, psychology and philosophy on the other. This is now no longer the case, and most young economists are taught to think of their discipline, not primarily in terms of the particular ‘economic’ social phenomena it was once taken to be about, but as a sophisticated and largely self-contained analytical approach to the investigation of social phenomena of any kind. 

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