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A Lexicon of Social Well-Being

A Lexicon of social well being 450

Luigino Bruni

Palgrave Pivot, April 2015

We are living in a long transitional period and a paradigm shift that started well before the financial crisis of 2007, one that is very likely to last for a long time. Therefore we must quickly learn how to live well in the world as it is today, including the realm of work. We need to learn a new vocabulary of economics and markets that is more suitable to understand the world in this era of globalization and financial capitalism. There are some fundamental words of social life that need to be rethought, or even rewritten, if we want civil and economic life to be 'good' and just. Right now we are conducting bad economics, partly because we are thinking and speaking badly about economics and civil life. Without a doubt, the following terms are among them: wealth, poverty, entrepreneur, finance, happiness, esteem, merit, bank, common good, work, justice, management, income distribution, profit, rent, corporate property rights, indignation, and capitalism. We urgently need a lexicon for a new economic and social well-being.

About the Author: Luigino Bruni is Professor of Economics at Lumsa University, Rome, Italy. He works on ethics and economics, history of ideas, and philosophy of economics, with a special focus on the analysis of the interpersonal dimension in economic and social theory. He has rediscovered, together with Robert Sugden and Stefano Zamagni, the tradition of civil economy.

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