The previous articles in this series considered how objective and subjective principles have been applied in economic thinking. We noted that the left hemisphere of the human brain is categorical and sequential in its objective construction of reality, building the edifice of knowledge up from fragments, piece by piece, to the larger system. By contrast, the right brain experiences the world as timeless Being, a great flowing network of subjective interconnection and unity, processing reality from the Whole to the Part.
Until 6th century BCE, the social applications of these two hemispheres seem to have been in relative balance—neither was favored over the other. But a close look at the writing, diagrams, formulas, maps, historical and natural records from that historical period indicates how the left hemisphere began to dominate within individuals and society. Aristotle was the first to examine this phenomenon in economic terms (Politics, 350 BCE). He wondered why M-C-M’ (the Money-making utility of trade in the marketplace) was eclipsing C-M-C’ (the sharing of useful Commodities in the household). He worried that the Part was separating from the Whole of the commons, where value really comes into existence.
This article originally appeared in the Fall | Winter 2013 issue of Kosmos. To read the entire article, please download the PDF here.
To read the other articles in this series, please explore the links below:
James Bernard Quilligan has been an analyst and administrator in the field of international development since 1975. He has served as policy advisor and writer for many international politicians and leaders,