The Economic Methodology Of “Know Thyself” Bridges The Divide.

There are those who doubt that economics and religion share anything; and then there are those who see economics and religion as compatible. One way of approaching this issue is to recognize that both economics and religion are in pursuit of “know thyself.”

If you examine the history of classical liberalism you will find that by using Aristotlean logic it was discovered and clearly elucidated that there is “natural law” and from this stems “natural rights.” If nothing else this is a perfect example of the exploration of “know thyself” and for centuries it was pursued in an intellectual atmosphere of mutualism between economics and religion.

From this tradition and this foundation came also the understanding that humans are subjective which is of major significance since, in order to advance the human sciences, an appropriate methodology – one that recognizes human subjectivity – would have to be applied. The empiricism of the natural sciences is invalid under the circumstances of subjectivity.

Since the purpose of scientific investigation is to gain understanding and knowledge, and since in the human sciences the object of study is the human, it can be unequivocally stated that the resulting scientific discoveries help us to “know thyself.”

And this goal and outcome of “know thyself” is the exact goal and outcome that is pursued in religion. Contemplative reflection of powerful insights is definitely another way to discover what it means to “know thyself.”

It is important to recognize all of the resources that are available to us. Few people (and no economist) would venture to say that having fewer means to attains the ends (“know thyself”) is the best way.

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