The Economic Discourse and the Conditions for its Possibility

CEDEPLAR Working Paper No. 143

20 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2001

Date Written: November 2000


This paper investigates the emergence in the Modernity of an economic discourse intended to be autonomous from moral and political philosophy. The article demonstrates that the existence of economics as separated field of knowledge is recent and its creation related to the appearance of market economies, which might be regarded as an "objective condition for the possibility" of the economic discourse. The argument seeks to uncover the theoretical and practical assumptions of this particular branch of the social sciences in order to submit its "validity claims" to a critical scrutiny.

Note: Paper available in Portuguese only.

Keywords: Ethics and economics, economic thought, economic discourse, political economy, Karl Polanyi

JEL Classification: B00, B11, B40

Suggested Citation

Cerqueira, Hugo Eduardo Araujo da Gama, The Economic Discourse and the Conditions for its Possibility (November 2000). CEDEPLAR Working Paper No. 143, Available at SSRN: or

Hugo Eduardo Araujo da Gama Cerqueira (Contact Author)

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais ( email )

Av. Antonio Carlos, 6627
Faculdade de Ciências Econômicas
Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais 31270-901

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