Like most of the branches of modern science, modern economics is a materialist and reductionist enterprise. Its models assume that human beings have only material needs and desires; are motivated by extrinsic, monetary incentives; and measure success in financial terms. The worldwide application of modern economics produces serious „illths”: climate change, ecological overshoot, welfare malaises, and global inequalities. The extension and reorientation of economics toward a spiritually informed science require to consider humans as having both material and non-material needs and desires, to recognize that they can be driven by intrinsic motivations, and to accept that economic actions should be evaluated multidimensionally with reference to the material and non-material outcomes of actions.
Dr. Laszlo Zsolnai proposes that ways to spiritually informed economics include (i) redefining economics as a science of the livelihood of people, (ii) capturing the full matrix of human existence including transcendence, and (iii) developing holistic measures of value, wealth and wellbeing.
Laszlo Zsolnai is Professor and Director of the Business Ethics Center at Corvinus University of Budapest. He is Associate Member of Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford. He serves as President of the European SPES Institute in Leuven, Belgium. He was Visiting Professor/Visiting Scholar at University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of California at Berkeley, Georgetown University, University of Richmond, Concordia University Montreal, Bocconi University Milan, University of St. Gallen, Venice International University, and the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies.
His research fields include business ethics, sustainability, and spirituality. He published 35 books and more than 300 papers. His recent books are “Economics as a Moral Science” (Springer, 2017), “Progressive Business Models” (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2017), “Integral Ecology and Sustainable Business” (Emerald, 2017), “Ethics, Meaning, and Market Society” (Routledge, 2018), “Economic Objects and the Objects of Economics” (Springer, 2018), “The Routledge International Handbook of Spirituality in Society and the Professions” (Routledge, 2019), and „Responsible Research for Better Business” (Palgrave, 2020). His academic website: https://laszlo-zsolnai.com/