The Birth of Spiritual Economics

In L. Zsolnai (ed.), Spirituality and Ethics in Management. pp. 61-74 (2004)
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Man essentially is a being who pursues meaning and love. Socrates’ speech in the Symposium well characterizes man as driven by Eros, or Love. Socrates, expounding Diotema’s Ladder of Love, explains that man is driven by the erotic impulse. Nowhere in her teachings does Diotema mention the concept of self-interest or maximizing profit as the essential nature of man. Despite this, the concept of man as the rational economic man dominates the human stage of thought. Why and how has this concept of man taken precedence over the Platonic description? What has made for the triumph of Homo economicus?

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Robert E. Allinson
Soka University


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