Die Nutzenmaximierer 978-3-16-150856-1 - Mohr Siebeck

Hans-Joachim Niemann

Die Nutzenmaximierer

Der aufhaltsame Aufstieg des Vorteilsdenkens

[The Utility Maximizers. The Resistible Rise of Selfishness.]

2011. X, 230 pages.
44,00 €
including VAT
sewn paper
ISBN 978-3-16-150856-1
Published in German.
Hans-Joachim Niemann criticizes the model theory of the new economic philosophy and demonstrates that if its »ethics of the future« underestimates the complex structure of social reality this might lead to disaster. Instead of developing new ethics, we should remain critical and improve conventional morality. For this purpose, problem-solving ethics could be a great help.
Drawing upon a model theory such as that of Robert Axelrod and James Buchanan, some German philosophers of economics maintain that self-interest and even selfishness are beneficial for society in general if they are controlled by a suitable framework. Their model theory applies to both the market and everyday life and results in an ethics which makes selfishness a virtue and moral decency foolishness. Hans-Joachim Niemann criticizes their model theory and demonstrates that not fully understanding one's model or underestimating the complex structure of social reality might easily result in disaster. There is no use in what those economists call the »ethics of the future« and what actually looks like a theoretical repetition of Ayn Rand's praise of selfishness. Ordinary everyday ethics is all we need if we remain critical and continue to improve it. For this purpose, problem-solving ethics could be a great help.

Hans-Joachim Niemann Geboren 1941; 1972 Promotion zum Dr. rer. nat. an der Universität Tübingen; Forschungstätigkeit als Physikochemiker; seit 1984 wissenschaftlicher Schriftsteller; Lehraufträge und Gastvorlesungen über kritischen Rationalismus an den Universitäten Bamberg und Passau; Mitbegründer der Zeitschrift Aufklärung und Kritik.


The following reviews are known:

In: Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie — 65 (2013), S. 172–175 (Peter Kappelhoff)
In: Der blaue Reiter — 2012, Ausg. 32, S. 110 (Claudia Reitinger)