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Freedom and Coordination in Economics: An Epistemological Analysis

Ricardo F. Crespo


This article begins by pointing out the difficulties involved by the insertion of freedom in economics: It poses epistemological problems that are not satisfactorily solved by the standard theories. The article suggests that the Aristotelian epistemological frame of practical rationality may be an apt position from which one can deal with freedom in economics. Aristotles concepts of society and economics are first introduced. The role of virtues in achieving economic coordination is exposed. Then the corresponding concept of practical science is described, showing its main characteristics and how they fit in with traditional political economy. The concept of value neutrality receives special attention in the article: A reinterpretation of the meaning of it is proposed. The article concludes that Aristotles broad concepts of practical reason and science leave room for a more comprehensive notion of economics.

Ricardo F. Crespo, "Freedom and Coordination in Economics: An Epistemological Analysis," Journal of Markets & Morality 7, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 47-62

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