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The Legacy of E.F. Schumacher

Laszlo Zsolnai was keynote speaker at the European SPES Conference “Responsibility in Economics – The Legacy of E.F. Schumacher” on 22–23 September 2011, in Antwerp, Belgium.

British alternative economist, E.F. Schumacher

Zsolnai’s presentation was titled “The Importance of Metaeconomics”. Meta-economics is the basic assumptions about the subject matter, value-orientation and methodology of economics. Zsolnai’s paper reconstructs the meta-economic foundation of mainstream economics and that of alternative economics initiated by E.F. Schumacher. It shows how the emerging alternative economics transcends the erroneous meta-economic assumptions of mainstream economics by considering the total economic process, choosing sustainable livelihood as basic value-orientation, and employing a constructive methodology.

The presentation of Gábor Kovács explored the development of Buddhist economics. The economics based on Buddhist values was first introduced by E.F. Schumacher in the beginning of the 1970’s. Since then numerous results were achieved by various Western and Eastern scholars and Buddhist thinkers. The Buddhist approach questions the axioms of self-interest and profitmaximization and considers the no-self and serving others as the basic principles of economic actions.