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Economic Development and the Common Good: Lonergan and Cobb on the Need for a New Paradigm

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John B. Cobb, Jr and his associates offer a critique of prevailing economic theory and practice in the hopes of contributing to the reformation of both by examining the meaning and relevance of the common good in the economic sphere. This paper examines Cobb's critique of economic theory and practice and his contribution toward an understanding of economic life that would do greater justice to environmental and communal sustainability. It also examines the contours of the new paradigm for economic theory and practice that he and Herman E. Daly propose. While that paradigm stands in need of greater elaboration, their work suggests a line of further development, one that anticipates Bernard Lonergan's macroeconomic dynamics. The latter, I argue, accounts for Cobb's concerns and criticisms and provides a basis for the formulation of moral precepts that promote economic progress in ways consonant with a fuller vision of human flourishing.

Affiliations: 1: Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture, College of the Holy Cross, One College Street, Worcester, MA 01610, USA, Email:


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