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Koers

On-line version ISSN 0023-270X

Abstract

SIMONS, P.. Economism. Koers (Online) [online]. 2010, vol.75, n.4, pp. 751-768. ISSN 0023-270X.

Modern society is characterised not only by a fascination with scientific technology as a means of solving all problems, especially those that stand in the way of material progress (technicism), but also by an obsessive interest in everything that has to do with money (economism or mammonism). The article discusses the relationship between technicism and economism, on the basis of their relationship to utilitarian thinking: the quest for the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people. Recent major studies of neo-liberalism (seen as an intensification of utilitarianism) by Laval and Dardot are used as reference to the development of utilitarianism. It is suggested that the western view of the world, as expressed in economism and technicism, with a utilitarian ethics, features three absolutisations: those of theoretical thinking, technology and economics. In a second part, the article draws on the framework of reformational philosophy to suggest an approach that, in principle, is not marred by such absolutisations.

Keywords : economism; neo-liberalism; technicism; utilitarianism.

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