Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2148344
 


 



The Max U Approach: Prudence-Only, or Not Even Prudence?: A Smithian Perspective


David Lipka


International Centre for Economic Research (ICER); Anglo-American University

September 1, 2012

ICER Working Paper No. 9/2012

Abstract:     
McCloskey criticizes Samuelsonian economists for representing human beings in their models by a character she dubs Max U. Max U, she argues, lacks all virtues except for Prudence. The paper explores whether the identity between Max U and Prudence is tenable and whether Samuelsonian economics can be interpreted as a study of Prudence. I juxtapose Max U to the concept of Prudence as it appears in Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS).

The reason is twofold: McCloskey assumes stability in the meaning of Prudence from Aristotle to Samuelson and hence any concept of Prudence would work. TMS occupies a prominent position in her argument. I attempt to show that utility maximization is a process distinct from practical reasoning underlying the virtue of Prudence and Samuelsonian economics can therefore not be interpreted as a study of Prudence.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 13

Keywords: Max U, Prudence, moral sentiments, Adam Smith, D. N. McCloskey

JEL Classification: B12, B40, D10

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Date posted: September 18, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Lipka, David, The Max U Approach: Prudence-Only, or Not Even Prudence?: A Smithian Perspective (September 1, 2012). ICER Working Paper No. 9/2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2148344 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2148344

Contact Information

David Lipka (Contact Author)
International Centre for Economic Research (ICER) ( email )
Villa Gualino
Viale Settimio Severo, 63
10133 Torino
Italy
Anglo-American University ( email )
Lazenska 4
11800 Praha 1
Prague 1, 11800
Czech Republic
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