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Profit-Making as Social Action: an Alternative Social-economic Perspective

  • Economics


This article reconsiders the status of profit-making in neoclassical economics. This reconsideration is based on a social-economic perspective as distinguished from the “pure” economic approach used by neoclassical theory. This paper argues that this perspective is more adequate, since it endeavors to do justice to the complexity of the phenomenon. While the economic approach views profit-making as a purely economic activity insulated from the social framework, the social-economic sees it as an "ideal type" of social action and thus situates it within this framework. In contrast to the former approach that treats profit-making as driven exclusively by rational factors, the latter conceptualizes it as being induced by a myriad of variables, rational and non-rational ones. The paper elaborates these differences between the two approaches.

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