The Ontology of 'the Economic': An Aristotelian Analysis
Posted: 29 Feb 2008
Date Written: September 2006
Tony Lawson's and Uskali Mäki's respective realist projects rely on an ontology of the economy. This paper will not focus on these research projects but will instead try to shed light on them by introducing an ontology of the economy according to Aristotle. Oikonomiké, the seminal term used by him, is not a noun but an adjective. For Aristotle, nouns express entities or beings, both self-sufficient beings and accidental properties. Adjectives almost always express accidents. What kind of being is 'the economic'? This analysis will suggest some conclusions about the constraints of economic science and the need for institutions according to the peculiar ontological condition of 'the economic' as conceived by Aristotle.
Keywords: Realism, Ontology of economy, Aristotle
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation