Location

Jereld R. Nicholson Library: Grand Avenue

Subject Area

Economics

Description

This student-faculty collaborative research project focused on the contributions to economic thought of two distinct groups: medieval Arab-Islamic scholars and Enlightenment philosophers. The primary goal of the project was to generate two new chapters to supplement the Evolution of Economic Thought text. It looked to answer the research question, “How did the intellectual activity of medieval Arab-Islamic scholars and Enlightenment philosophers reflect and/or contribute to the development of modern economic thought?” The medieval Arab-Islamic chapter produced findings including a centrality of religion to economic life, the importance of specialization for increased efficiency, and an understanding of just price. Ibn Khaldūn, a prominent scholar of the medieval Arab-Islamic era, recognized a need for the division of labor, as individuals lack the capability of providing sufficient goods on their own to subsist. A holistic approach to thinking and an emphasis on rational methodology and objectivity were major contributions from the research on Enlightenment philosophers. Thomas Hobbes’s social contract theory is a philosophical idea that underlies modern economic theory, discussed at length in the Enlightenment chapter. Both chapters will be accessible online and available for instructors to use separately or in conjunction with existing online chapters as precursors to the main, physical text.

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May 17th, 9:30 AM May 17th, 11:00 AM

An Investigation into the Economic Thought of Medieval Arab-Islamic Scholars and Enlightenment Philosophers

Jereld R. Nicholson Library: Grand Avenue

This student-faculty collaborative research project focused on the contributions to economic thought of two distinct groups: medieval Arab-Islamic scholars and Enlightenment philosophers. The primary goal of the project was to generate two new chapters to supplement the Evolution of Economic Thought text. It looked to answer the research question, “How did the intellectual activity of medieval Arab-Islamic scholars and Enlightenment philosophers reflect and/or contribute to the development of modern economic thought?” The medieval Arab-Islamic chapter produced findings including a centrality of religion to economic life, the importance of specialization for increased efficiency, and an understanding of just price. Ibn Khaldūn, a prominent scholar of the medieval Arab-Islamic era, recognized a need for the division of labor, as individuals lack the capability of providing sufficient goods on their own to subsist. A holistic approach to thinking and an emphasis on rational methodology and objectivity were major contributions from the research on Enlightenment philosophers. Thomas Hobbes’s social contract theory is a philosophical idea that underlies modern economic theory, discussed at length in the Enlightenment chapter. Both chapters will be accessible online and available for instructors to use separately or in conjunction with existing online chapters as precursors to the main, physical text.

 

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