I use the phenomenological notion of the life-world for a thorough critique of economic science on three different levels. First, for a description of the discursive situation of current economists regarding their public, professional and pedagogical ethos. Second, for a social history of the scientification of economics from the 17th century until today. Third, for a biography of a mathematical economist, Gerard Debreu, who never perceived himself as an economist but nevertheless received the Nobel Prize for Economics. I argue that economic science is constituted by the oblivion of the life-world, specifically the oblivion of the motives that give rise to economics. Claiming scientific authority in economics thus produces an experiential conflict for the intellectual life of economists.

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A. Klamer (Arjo) , J. de Mul (Jos)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus School of Philosophy

Düppe, T. (2009, May 26). The Phenomenology of Economics: Life-World, Formalism, and the Invisible Hand. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/16075