James Downs, associate professor of history and American studies, will spend the 2015-16 academic year studying medical anthropology at Harvard University.
Economics Professor Spencer Pack´s new book, "Aristotle, Adam Smith and Karl Marx: On Some Fundamental Issues in 21st Century Political Economy," connects these three great philosophers´ teachings to modern issues, such as the current financial crisis. "Their theories are currently extremely topical," Pack says in his book. "They shed light on such contemporary issues as, for example, the continuing development of world money, savings, managerial capitalism, corrupt governments and various movements for social change."
Pack, an expert in history of economic thought and contemporary economic issues, compares and contrasts their theories, showing how the three philosophers´ works relate to one another and remain relevant. Specifically, Smith studied Aristotle´s theories, and his work was a response to Aristotle´s theories, while Marx read and critiqued both of their theories. "The issues Aristotle, Smith and Marx tackled over the last couple thousand years are still with us," Pack says. "Insights from these three great systematic thinkers can help us to focus upon and to address some of the key problems currently facing humanity." For instance, Pack argues Smith believed some greedy managers would lie and cheat, harming society´s economic wellbeing. Smith´s prophecy is coming to fruition, according to Pack who says recent actions of a few bankers at leading global investment banking and securities firms demonstrate Smith´s teachings remain relevant and should be studied. Though Pack´s book recently hit bookshelves, it is already receiving praise.
"Spencer Pack has written a most illuminating and insightful book," University of Missouri-Kansas City Economics Professor John F. Henry said in a review. "His account forces us to think deeply about the nature of capitalist society. I recommend it highly."
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