The Economy as a System of Useful Production
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Publication date: 2014-08-31
GNPJE 2014;272(4):165-177
The author proposes a “phenomenological method of economic research” based on a theory developed by French economist Jean­‑Baptiste Say and holding that “production is the creation, not of matter, but of utility.” Mazurkiewicz draws from the concepts of utility offered by French mathematical economist Léon Walras and German philosopher Martin Heidegger. Direct references to Walras and Heidegger as well as the ideas of American linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky helped the author define what he calls the basic module of an economic system. The author examines two Walrasian models of how the economy works: a model based on bringing order to aggregate production using economic categories and a syntactic model that treats the economy as a totality of concepts of useful things and at the same time as the totality of syntactic structures. The operationalization of these models was made possible by solutions derived from the theory of generative grammar, Mazurkiewicz says, and from Heidegger’s relational construction of the wholeness of concepts of useful things. The fundamental problem of an economy is how to generate its own development, Mazurkiewicz says. He adds that the concept of usability—governing “the functioning of things in each application embedded into practical human activity (the unity of pragmata and praxis aspects)”—is essential to getting an insight into the processes of economic development. “The concept of usability precedes any specific use of the product,” the author says. “It is an a priori principle for every production and exchange process and as such a constitutive substance of the economic system.” Mazurkiewicz says the method he proposes in the article makes it possible to “capture moments of formation, activity, and the development potential of both planned and ongoing business ventures.”
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