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“Greed, Self-Interest, and the Shaping of Economics” – Book Presentation

mei 31, 2018 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Researcher Rudi Verburg will present his recently published book “Greed, Self-Interest, and the Shape of Economics“. Margaret Schabas and Joost Hengstmengel will provide a response to the book. Drinks afterwards are included.

The financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath showed us the destructive force of greed. It seems preposterous that 18th century philosophers proclaimed the social utility of greed. And yet, they were confident enough to remodel greed as self-interest. Discussing the conditions and limitations of this counterintuitive idea, they created a narrative that tied self-interest, competition and interdependence together to the benefit of all. Not everyone shared that dream. Between Rousseau, Marx and Veblen, a counter-narrative developed, which argued that commercial society would only aggravate the harmful tendencies of greed. As the theoretical scope of mainstream economics was increasingly narrowed down, however, self-interest and competition were reframed to the effect that greed no longer fit in. Revisiting the debate on greed and self-interest in commercial society provides a rich source of ideas in rethinking economics and the basic beliefs concerning our economic system today.


mei 31, 2018
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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Good Markets research project


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Agora 5
De Boelelaan 1105
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