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Value and ValuesEconomics and Justice in an Age of Global Interdependence$
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Roger T. Ames and Peter D. Hershock

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824839673

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824839673.001.0001

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John Dewey, Institutional Economics, and Confucian Democracies

John Dewey, Institutional Economics, and Confucian Democracies

(p.229) 12 John Dewey, Institutional Economics, and Confucian Democracies
Value and Values

Larry A. Hickman

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter places the Confucian tradition in conversation with American Pragmatism in its discussion of an alternative to neoclassical economics advanced by John Dewey and others, including Thorstein Veblen. It first considers the assumptions of institutional economics, which is highly critical of some of the “unquestioned” assumptions of the classical synthesis, such as most versions of “rational choice theory” and subjectivist accounts of “utility.” It then looks at the role of Veblen, Dewey, and others in articulating institutionalism in economic theory before turning to Dewey's and Veblen's critique of the neoclassical argument, along with the current discourse on democracy and economic development in Confucian societies. It also examines Dewey's and Veblen's alternative, an evolutionary economic theory that takes into account the history and present tendencies of the institutions that are instrumental to the formation of individuals and communities. In particular, it looks at Dewey's call for a new kind of Confucianism that would better express the profoundest values of the Chinese people as a culture of thought and intellectual influence.

Keywords:   institutionalism, Pragmatism, neoclassical economics, John Dewey, Thorstein Veblen, institutional economics, economic theory, democracy, institutions, Confucianism

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