Divorcing Art from Science in Modern Economics
Published by Pluto Press
1999, 234pp, ISBN 0745314422, Paperback
Historians of economic thought have long recognised the possibility that cultural influences might be important, but have never analysed them in detail. In the first study of economics from the perspective of art history Rick Szostak shows how the cultural influences identified by art historians have affected economic theory. He also that not only has economic theory been informed by aesthetic considerations, but the very methods employed by economists are shown to serve primarily aesthetic goals.
Szostak assesses the extent of these cultural and aesthetic effects through a wide-ranging study of the development of surrealism, cubism and abstract art, juxtaposed to examples drawn from virtually every field of economics. Two types of endeavour are identified, Econ Art and Econ Science. Szostak argues that the pursuit of econ-science would be much aided if economisists first recognised their artistic impulses, and then developed more scientific standards of conduct. As the first economist to thoroughly address the question of whether Economics is Art, Szostak raises some important philisophical issues with this volume. The result is a controversial and scholarly, yet accessible, examination of the influence of both culture and aesthetic considerations on economics.
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