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Economics of Good and Evil


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Table of Contents

oreword by Vaclav Havel Acknowledgments and Thanks Introduction PART I: Ancient Economics Chapter 1: The Epic of Gilgamesh: On effectiveness, Immortality and the Economics of Friendship Chapter 2: The Old Testament: Earthliness and Goodness Chapter 3: Ancient Greece Chapter 4: Christianity: Spirituality in the Material World Chapter 5: Descartes the Mechanic Chapter 6: Bernard Mandeville's Beehive of Vice Chapter 7: Adam Smith, Blacksmith of Economics PART II: Blasphemous Thoughts Chapter 8: Need for Greed - The History of Want Chapter 9: Progress and Sabbath Economics Chapter 10: The Axis of Good and Evil and the Bibles of Economics Chapter 11: The History of the Invisible Hand of the Market and Homo Oeconomicus Chapter 12: The History of Animal Spirits - the Dream Never Sleeps Chapter 13: MetaMathematics Chapter 14: Masters of Truth: Science, Myths and Faith Conclusion: Where the Wild Things Are Bibliography Index

About the Author

Tomas Sedlacek lectures at Charles University and is a member of the National Economic Council in Prague, where the original version of this book was a national bestseller and was also adapted as a popular theater-piece. He worked as an advisor of Vaclav Havel, the first Czech president after the fall of communism, and is a regular columnist and popular radio and TV commentator.


"Sedlacek takes mainstream economics as his clay, digging both his arms in up to the elbows in an attempt to explain the beliefs and ethical values underlying modern economics." - The New York Times "There has long been a profound moral drive in Czech culture, seeking an ever larger view of the human, and trying to break through conceptual barriers to do so. In this sinewy and marvelous voyage of discovery, Tomas Sedlacek calls us all to think more imaginatively, more fully, and more concretely about economics than we have done for many generations. Many thinkers, including not a few economists, will be stimulated to new explorations by this book." -Michael Novak, author of The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism "Economics of Good and Evil is an enchanting tour de force, offering the general public an unusual, erudite, and riveting view of the world. Scientists and scholars can choose how to read this book: either condemn it for its lack of a rigidly and traditionally scientific approach, or accept it as an invigorating elixir providing inspiration and vision for further study. I take it as the latter and I am certain the public will too." - Jan Svejnar, Professor of Business, Economics and Public Policy, University of Michigan

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