The Economic Agent and the Feedback Loop
Słowa kluczowe:cyclic way of thinking, evolutionary way of thinking, having more, being more, acting viciously, acting virtuously
Conventional economics teaches that homo economicus is an individual being with no social dimension, no interaction with others, no one to learn from, and therefore no feedback loop to take account of the agent’s development over her lifetime. With personalist economics the feedback loop is present at all times in the person of action because she is not just an individual being but a social being as well who in interacting with others learns new skills and acquires talents, new ways of living and working, and uses them for having more. In other words, the feedback loop works on the material well-being of the person of action.
The feedback loop works in a second way. Acting virtuously involves giving something freely to another person, expressing other-centeredness in which there is no expectation of getting anything in return. The virtuous person is admired for being more, for being a better person. The feedback loop is present but this time it works in terms of the character of the economic agent. The person who acts viciously takes without giving in defiance of the usual norms of economic exchange. She is self-centered in the extreme wherein having more is corrupted into taking more. The feedback loop is present with the vicious person who acquires the reputation of being a bad person.
Our extended essay begins with an examination of the cyclic way of thinking about economic affairs, proceeds to the evolutionary way, and taking into account the feedback loop concludes with a comparison of the homo economicus of conventional economics and the person of action of personalist economics.
We draw heavily from the author’s own publications in order to show how his thinking about economy agency has developed with the passage of time.
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