Robots and us: towards an economics of the ‘Good Life’

Review of Social Economy:1-33 (2018)
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Abstract

(Expected) adverse effects of the ‘ICT Revolution’ on work and opportunities for individuals to use and develop their capacities give a new impetus to the debate on the societal implications of technology and raise questions regarding the ‘responsibility’ of research and innovation (RRI) and the possibility of achieving ‘inclusive and sustainable society’. However, missing in this debate is an examination of a possible conflict between the quest for ‘inclusive and sustainable society’ and conventional economic principles guiding capital allocation (including the funding of research and innovation). We propose that such conflict can be resolved by re-examining the nature and purpose of capital, and by recognising mainstream economics’ utilitarian foundations as an unduly restrictive subset of a wider Aristotelian understanding of choice.

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Jesse M. Mulder
Utrecht University

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