E. F. Schumacher’s Metanoia: Rejecting Homo Oeconomicus, 1950 – 1977. Dans B. Caldwell, J. Davis, U. Mäki et E.-M. Sent

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Until roughly 1950, the Anglo-German economist E. F. Schumacher (1911–1977) was a conventional Fabian economist, inspired by Keynes and thoroughly committed to modern economic growth and development. By 1970, however, he had rejected much of this and, with his authorship of Small is Beautiful (1973), was about to become a symbolic figure in the counter-cultural and environmental movement of the seventies. Drawing on both published and archival sources, this article traces that change in Schumacher. Specifically, we portray his changing attitude to economics and the economy as the consequence of a deeper transformation of the self, stimulated by his engagement with esoteric and religious influences, such as Gurdjieff-Ouspensky, Buddhism and Christianity. Our point of entry to this story is a 1972 talk on the method of economics, given by the “new” Schumacher at the invitation of his old wartime colleague and Fabian comrade, Joan Robinson.

This content has been updated on 29 September 2022 at 14 h 11 min.