Tomas Sedlacek: Economics of Good and Evil, The Quest for Economic Meaning of Gilgamesh from the Wall Street
16th JUNE, 1PM; ROYAL SOCIETY OF ARTS, 8 JOHN ADAM STREET, LONDON, WC2N 6EZ. A talk by Tomas Sedlacek, leading Czech economist who is considered to be one of the ‘five hot minds in economics’ by the Yale Economic Review. In his Economics of Good and Evil he provides a tour de force exploration of economic thinking over the millenia. He mines the resourses of myth, religion, anthropology and the arts, ranging from the epic of Gilgamesh and the Old Testament to the emergence of Christianity; from Descartes to Fight Club and The Matrix; blowing open our thinking with provocative questions: Is growth the only answer? Are we addicted to desire? Does it pay to be good?
Economics of Good and Evil: The Quest for Economic Meaning from Gilgamesh to Wall Street; Oxford University Press, publication date June 2011
Tomas Sedlacek: Economics of Good and Evil: The Quest for Economic Meaning from Gilgamesh to Wall Street
Tomas Sedlacek has shaken the study of economics as few have. Named one of the ‘young guns’ and one of the ‘five hot minds in economics’ by the Yale Economic Review, he serves on the National Economic Council in the Czech Republic, where his provocative writing has achieved bestseller status. How has he done it? by arguing a simple, almost heretical proposition: economics is ultimately about good and evil.
Economics is touted as a science, a value-free mathematical inquiry, he argues, but it is actually a cultural phenomenon, a product of our civilization. Its origins as a discipline lie in philosophy, and its concerns should be as much about societies’ values as about abstract mathematical modelling.
Sedlacek gives a tour de force exploration of economic thinking, broadly defined, over the millennia. He mines the resources of myth, religion, anthropology, and the arts, ranging from the epic of Gilgamesh and the Old Testament to the emergence of Christianity, from Descartes and Adam Smith to Fight Club and The Matrix.
At a time when national and international attention is on the ethics of the market, he blows open our thinking with provocative questions: Is growth the only answer? Are we addicted to desire? Does it pay to be good?
Tomas Sedlacek (1977) is a Chief Macroeconomic Strategist at ČSOB. He was a member of National Economic Council, advisory body to the prime minister. He worked as an economic advisor to President Václav Havel and to Minister of Finance. He is a Yale University World Fellow and PhD student at Charles University, where he lectures. He is a regular columnist and a sought-after media comentator. The Czech edition of his book Economics of Good and Evil, The Quest for Economic Meaning from Gilgamesh to Wall Street in which he explores economic thinking over the millennia, sold 50,000 copies, and has been turned into a three-man play which is selling out the Prague National Theatre.
Tomas Sedlacek belongs to the generation who promise a new view on the problems of the contemporary world...Instead of self-confident and self-centred answers, he humbly asks fundamental questions: What is economics? What is its meaning?
From the Foreword by Vaclav Havel, former President of the Czech Republic.