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Challenging the Current Economics Curriculum: Creating Challengers and Change

pre-publication draft Chapter 2 of edited volume: "Challenging the Current Economics Curriculum" editors Maria Alejandra Madi and Jack Reardon. Forthcoming

13 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2014 Last revised: 27 Oct 2014

Asad Zaman

Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

Date Written: July 15, 2014

Abstract

Numerous crises involving finance, inequality, environment have shown that current economic theories lack the capability of addressing or even formulating the problems we face collectively as human beings. There are many calls for changing the syllabus of economics to make it more relevant. This paper argues that the root of the problem lie much deeper than most reformers have realized. It goes back to over-reliance on facts and logic, and disregard of the reasons of the heart. We must extend our definition knowledge to include spiritual and moral knowledge, which is beyond the reach of science. We must reject the irrational pursuit of wealth, which is the spirit of capitalism, and seek more human and humane objectives of living. We must learn to recognize that the essence and heart of economics is an (often concealed) discourse about equity and justice. We must reject the metaphor of the machine which leads us to believe in “natural laws” of economics. To create meaningful syllabus change requires creating inner spiritual transformation: We must become the change that we wish to create in the world.

Keywords: Spiritualilty, Morality, Logical Positivism, Purpose

JEL Classification: B49, B59

Suggested Citation

Zaman, Asad, Challenging the Current Economics Curriculum: Creating Challengers and Change (July 15, 2014). pre-publication draft Chapter 2 of edited volume: "Challenging the Current Economics Curriculum" editors Maria Alejandra Madi and Jack Reardon. Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2469546

Asad Zaman (Contact Author)

Pakistan Institute of Development Economics ( email )

Quaid-i-Azam University Campus
P.O.Box 1091
Islamabad, Federal Capital 44000
Pakistan

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