Economic Order in Search of the Human Person
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economic order
free market economy
critical realism
human person
entrepreneurial dimension
Eric Voegelin

How to Cite

Economic Order in Search of the Human Person: Voegelinian and Röpkean Perspectives. (2023). The Political Science Reviewer, 47(1), 251-266.


This article discusses how the question of the ‘order’ of ‘orders’ in the business of business is fundamentally personalist in nature. We sketch out how Voegelinian and Röpkean economic reflections can assist us in recapturing the broader horizons of the meaning of human economic action. Voegelin observes, for example, how a highly developed economic society can only function “if each person tolerates and develops entrepreneurial initiative for the welfare” of the whole. The emergence of the entrepreneurial dimension and its central creative force in business life cannot be explained or accounted for solely in economic terms. We outline how Röpke similarly emphasizes the person-centric underpinnings of economic life. In A Humane Economy he outlines how “the dehumanization of theoretical economics necessarily includes a human devaluation of the entrepreneur” and speaks of the necessity of underscoring the “human elements” of the economy. Economic life as such is, therefore, ever in search of such ‘order,’ understood in the context of the multidimensional truth of our life, living as participants in the ongoing drama of our humanity.

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