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Humanists and Economists. Is There Any Conflict Between Them?

Date published: | Lisa Barlow

Dialog of a woman in glasses with a man in front, having cup of tea in cafe.

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Is there a conflict between humanists and economists?

Psychologists say that studying various disciplines can influence your personality and traits of your character, depending on what subject you dedicate yourself to. Such professions as humanists and economists are considered by many to be polar. It is widely supposed that it is very difficult and, at times, impossible to find a common ground for people who are dealing with these spheres.

Is it true indeed that representatives of both fields will never be able to effectively communicate? Let’s investigate if there is a conflict indeed and if it exists, how deep it is and what can be done to solve it.

Who are the humanists?

Humanism is a philosophy, which states that people are rational beings whose dignity and worth as the individual get the main emphasis. It was very popular during the Renaissance and the movement was originated with the study of classical culture and a group of subjects known collectively as the ‘Studia Humanitatis’, or the humanities.

The humanists believe that an individual has a free will and that we all have an inborn right to actively develop our selves to our highest potential and reach self-actualization. The representatives of this group are convinced that all people are inherently good and we are self-motivated to improve.

Obviously, a person who is a humanist can have a job, which is directly connected with bringing the best to the society, but he or she can also be a charitable activist and have a strong point of view even without having a job related to facilitation of the community development.

Who are the economists?

The reputation of economists is similar to the position of humanists in terms of how strongly the society applies stereotypes to them.

As opposed to people who are in the humanities sphere, those who work in the financial environment are, often, supposed to be cold and calculating. On average, not only they try not to give out something for free but they tend to make sure that they get a profit from whatever venture they get into.

Most of the time, what the society needs appears to be not so important and the strict language of money and imperialistic ambitions are usually more advantageous for people who deal with finances.

I would like to point out that the coldness of the language and a precise calculation has an important purpose, and it is a function that society needs, since, for instance, nursing homes do have to get their funding from somewhere.

A humanist can easily go for the charitable deeds sometimes even without letting anyone know about what they have done.

An economist will calculate everything and reduce behavior to simple laws without attending to human beings in all their complexity.

From my experience, I can see that the communication between a humanist and an economist might be tough indeed since they follow different principles, which, by the way, can be still interchanged. I believe that the imperialist ambitions of economics and its tendency to explain away differences can be bridged with lack of hypocrisy and charitable intentions of humanities.

However, I should stress out that I mentioned just general tendencies in the society and each situation is unique. A humanist can do some good deeds with personal egoistic intentions while a person who works in the financial world can donate regularly without expecting any reciprocation whatsoever.

As I show cased above, the argument is present in the situation with regards to finding common ground for economists and humanists. Their points of view do differ and the conflict does exist. However, I should stress out the importance of understanding that the cooperation and acceptance of each other is the key, otherwise, no one wins.

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