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Ecumenical foundations? On the coexistence of Austrian and neoclassical views on utility

Senderski, Marcin (2014): Ecumenical foundations? On the coexistence of Austrian and neoclassical views on utility. Published in: International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education , Vol. 5, No. 4 (2014): pp. 354-373.

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Abstract

Utility has long been a debatable concept, with many competing interpretations. The Austrian school and the neoclassical school, however broad these categories may seem, have made the most substantial and, by the same token, the most contrasting contributions to the theory of value. The paper’s goal is not to adjudicate past arguments or observe the evolution of the theory, but rather to resolve contemporary misunderstandings. The references are made to such trouble spots as subjectivism vs. objectivism, cardinality vs. ordinality, and mathematical formalism vs. verbal formalism. Both schools entrenched themselves in their views long ago. Nevertheless, this paper shows that discussing utility on common ground and on the basis of shared presumptions is not necessarily the melody of the future. The paper is concluded with recommendations on how the current dissent may be attenuated.

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