Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

Moving from the Empirically Testable to the Merely Plausible: How Religion and Moral Philosophy Can Broaden Economics


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Experiences as a student of psychology and economics led me to question the second-class status of the non-testable. Attention to ‘being’ was insignificant relative to attention given to ‘doing’. Religion and philosophy seemed better suited to capture the internal struggle over one’s choice than did the scientific tradition uncomfortable with introspection. More recently, my interests have been in the rhetoric of economics and in the rise in inequality in the United States. Changes in how the popular press approaches talk about the unemployed, the poor, and other marginalized groups provided still another reason for better appreciating religion. I have found that religious traditions are able to assume more compassionate attitudes toward human suffering than can a strictly scientific approach to economic injustice.