Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

From an Individual to a Person: What Economics Can Learn from Theology About Human Beings

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Abstract

The key assumption of economic anthropology—maximizing behavior by the individual (or Max U)—has been subject to criticism both from outside and within economics. This article suggests that the philosophical or theological approach known as “personalism” may be useful in generating an alternative to Max U, one that is not so flat. The concept of person, as distinct from individual, is outlined, and then two examples of its application in economics are described.