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Greatest Happiness Principle in a Complex System Approach

Author(s): Katalin Martinás

Journal: Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems
ISSN 1334-4684

Volume: 10;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 88;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: greatest happiness principle | complex systems | non-equilibrium economic theory

The principle of greatest happiness was the basis of ethics in Plato’s and Aristotle’s work, it served as the basis of utility principle in economics, and the happiness research has become a hot topic in social sciences in Western countries in particular in economics recently. Nevertheless there is a considerable scientific pessimism over whether it is even possible to affect sustainable increases in happiness.In this paper we outline an economic theory of decision based on the greatest happiness principle (GHP). Modern equilibrium economics is a simple system simplification of the GHP, the complex approach outlines a non-equilibrium economic theory. The comparison of the approaches reveals the fact that the part of the results – laws of modern economics – follow from the simplifications and they are against the economic nature. The most important consequence is that within the free market economy one cannot be sure that the path found by it leads to a beneficial economic system.
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