Homo Oeconomicus vs. Homo Naturalis: Social and Cultural Implications of the Opposition


  • Дмитрий Яворский
Keywords: homo oeconomicus, religion, naturalism, sociocultural totality, symbol of unity


[In Russian]

The author investigates homo oeconomicus and homo naturalis in the context of the representation of social totality. In this way, they are regarded as the symbols of unity that represent the multiplicity of social interactions as the unity. As it is known, the concept of homo oeconomicus is rooted in the 18th c. theory of market. But it is less known that this theory derived from the search for the symbolic model of social totality. Until the 16th c., the Christian symbolic model of social totality was predominant. But religious conflicts of the 15th–17th cc. showed the limits of the integrative power of this symbolic representation, which made intellectuals turn to the notion of ‘nature’ as to a symbol of unity. While religions divide, the nature unites humankind. ‘Nature’ was understood as the complex of human universal attributes. Hence, the model of universal human being gave rise to homo naturalis. While continental philosophers developed the concept of natural human being, British thinkers searched for the nature of social relationships as such. Adam Smith developed the idea of the “invisible hand of the market” harmonizing the egoistic interests. Finally, homo naturalis and homo oeconomicus are the two different models of sociocultural totality: one of them requires “natural” virtues, whereas the other requires rational behavior from the human being.


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How to Cite
Яворский, Д. (2016). Homo Oeconomicus vs. Homo Naturalis: Social and Cultural Implications of the Opposition. Topos, (2-3), 98-108. Retrieved from https://journals.ehu.lt/index.php/topos/article/view/262