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Dooyeweerd’s Philosophy of Economics

Dooyeweerd’s Philosophy of Economics
Joost W. Hengstmengel MA MSc
Faculty of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Volume 15, Number 2 (Fall 2012): 415–429
Copyright © 2012

Abraham Kuyper repeatedly stressed the desirability of an independent Calvinist science of economics. At the Free University of Amsterdam, economists with such ideals would indeed appear, but their normative approach to economics was overshadowed by the rise of economic positivism. As a pupil of Kuyper, Herman Dooyeweerd provided Calvinist economics with a philosophical foundation. In this article, Dooyeweerd’s philosophy of economics based on his “philosophy of the cosmonomic idea” is summarized and placed into a historical context. Also explained is how his philosophical interpretation of Kuyper’s principle of sphere sovereignty results in (the necessity of) an “intrinsically Christian economic theory.” Dooyeweerd appears to be an outspoken advocate of normative economics, both in science and in practice.

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