Economics as a Science of the Human Mind and Interaction

Michael Fast, Frederik Hertel, Woodrow Clark

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In understanding economics and the organisation of economics, the questions are what constituteeconomics and the thinking behind economics today? In short what is the field of economics? And in what ways can we connect to and understand this field of study? Of course, the answer to this depends upon the perspective chosen, in which one sees and thinks of economics from a particularphilosophical and even political position and perspective. If one takes the perspective on economics from a qualitative paradigm that draws upon the tradition from Kant, Husserl, Simmel, Mead, Schutz, Blumer (see references), then it can be stated that economics cannot only be understood as something that appears in nature. On the contrary, economics must be understood as “something” which results from human behaviour, interaction and groups in human activities and the thinking involved and embedded in those activities. Therefore in analyzing economics it is significant to note that economics belongs to and is being constructed by people due to their everyday lives.What appears as central in those statements, from a qualitative perspective, is that the essences of economics have to be discussed in relation to the mind and thinking related to an understanding of individual and group societal activities. Economics is to be understood as constructed and maintained through everyday human interactions and exchanges, whereby people are creating themeanings of situations with objectives of what are believed as important in the understanding of economics activities, actions and results. Those meanings and definitions of economics are being produced and exchanged in order to become a new comprehensive framework that influences, co-produces, limits and creates contradictions in everyday economic life. This additional qualitativefocus [1] outlines the importance of understanding how human cognitions produce meaning of objects, definitions, activities and actions which provides the framework for the field of economics. The epistemological perspective for this is that the objects are not only within themselves.No, instead the objects are as they presents themselves to people, and thereby the meanings we are constructing and attaching to them. The paper will therefore discuss some of the scientific complexities in three areas: mind and thinking; understanding economics as a social activity and construction, and the interplay between economic activities and economic theoretical work.
TidsskriftTheoretical Economics Letters
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)477-487
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 25 jun. 2014
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Economic Thinking, Epistemology, Qualitative Meaning, Language, Discourse, Interaction, Science