Part of the difficulty of introducing social economics into the principles course is the perception that social economics is anathema to mainstream economics. As noted by Warren Samuels, however, "neoclassical economics is already a form of social economics" despite its "pretensions of methodological individualism and value-neutrality". Heilbroner also makes the case that the " ... the preponderance of great economists were aware of economics as explanation systems of particular socio-economic formations." Like it or not, economists err in omitting from their models what McCloskey calls "S" variables--variables representing the "social embeddedness" of values which direct human choices.
Copyright © 1999, Edwin Mellen Press. This chapter first appeared in Teaching the Social Economics Way of Thinking: Selected Papers from the Ninth World Congress of Social Economics.
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Wight, Jonathan. "Will the Real Adam Smith Please Stand Up?: Teaching Social Economics in the Principles Course." In Teaching the Social Economics Way of Thinking: Selected Papers from the Ninth World Congress of Social Economics, edited by Edward J. O'Boyle, 117-39. Vol. 4. Mellen Studies in Economics. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1999.