Gaudenz Assenza, Zdenka Sokolíčková, Aliaksandr Martynau – The Ideational Background of the Global Economic Crisis
Abstract: The focus of the paper lies in the ideational background of the Western worldview, with special attention paid to the current economic crisis as its result. The specific set of ideas and assumptions that dominates Western thinking about the world is explained as an alternative developed due to a certain cultural climate. The paper argues that an inner reality (an interiorised worldview) influences the outer reality (the organisation of the society, economics included). Following Max Weber’s criticism of the presumed neutrality of Western science, the paper contests the universalist ambitions of the prevalent economic school of thought, neoclassical economics. We see the global financial crisis as a phenomenon caused by an incomplete image of the world. But what if the ongoing economic turmoil is not just a crisis, but a critical juncture in a larger process of transformation? We comment on theories of Thomas Kuhn and Martin Marcussen to cast some light on the chances that the current situation may trigger a revision of the worldview on which the societal order in industrial countries is based.
Key words: Worldview, neoclassical economics, Western rationality, critical juncture, paradigm shift.
The paper is published as a part of the project The Global Financial Crisis: An Interdisciplinary Analysis sponsored by the Ministry of Education in the
Czech Republic. It is based on the lectures The Worldview of Neoclassical Economics and The Global Financial Crisis: An Interdisciplinary Analysis
taught by Prof. Gaudenz Assenza at Palacký University in Olomouc, Czech Republic, in the academic year of 2010/2011.
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