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Economics not engineering

Richard Adelstein ()
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Richard Adelstein: Wesleyan University

Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, 2021, vol. 48, issue 4, No 4, 573-579

Abstract: Abstract Economics, ideally a positive science pursuing knowledge “for its own sake,” is distinguished from engineering, an intrinsically purposive attempt to control nature or people to serve human interests. The attempt to meld them in a new transdiscipline inappositely brings engineering’s element of purpose to what should be a positive economic science. Only Mariotti’s economics and engineering maintains the critical distance necessary for economic scientists to evaluate the purposes to which economic engineers put their theories. The history of scientific management is briefly sketched to suggest that the new transdiscipline is likely to be reduced to a tool for profit-seeking, an economics for engineering.

Keywords: Transdisciplinarity; Purpose in economics and engineering; Scientific management (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A12 B50 N01 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s40812-021-00194-x

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Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics is currently edited by C. Cambini, M.G. Colombo, L. Piscitello, L. Rondi and A. Zanfei

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