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April 2015, № 4 (179)



Belskaya Yu.V. ECONOMIC MAN IN THE LIBERAL AND NEO-LIBERAL ECONOMIC THEORY"Economic man" is an abstract concept expressing the essential features of a subject of economic life of society. It is characterized by the ability to the directed and purposeful activity aimed at the transformation of economic being according to its interests and needs. In the modern economic theory there are several versions of "economic man". Each version of the "economic man" is a model of cultural-historical type of the individual as a subject of a market economy. Currently, liberalism is quite influential trend of the social, political and economic thought. Common element to all the supporters of liberalism is the absolute priority of individual freedom as the highest moral value. In the economic field this moral imperative corresponds to the free market, which is not burdened by the presence of the state. The paper presents the rationale of harmonizing the moral imperative of individual freedom with the requirements of neutral economic theory in the works of M. Friedman and F. Hayek. In conclusion there is expressed the idea that liberal and neo-liberal directions of economic thought have significantly enriched understanding of the economic man. In the theoretical construction of Friedrich Hayek an economic man acts as an "innovating entrepreneur", oriented to the constant search for a new and thus ensuring social progress. The market system serves an extended version of human cooperation and as a result of socio-economic development of society. Such an interpretation of market relations suggests a shift from the discourse of rationality to the social and ethical discourse in discussions on human economic behavior.Key words: economic man, liberalism, evolutionary approach, F. Hayek

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Year: 2015


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Sergey Aleksandrovich
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