Lecture Five

August 2nd, 2009

Practical Philosophy and the Economic Crisis

by Dr John Tippett

Of critical importance to Economics is the central premise of practical philosophy—that mankind is more than just a material being.

Economics has drifted a long way from where it started—as the understanding of good household management—with the unbridled 'free market' presenting opportunities for accumulation of wealth by some at the expense of others, encouraging and rewarding greed and discouraging ordinary work.

Modern economics gives little consideration to humankind as anything other than 'labour'; and economists refuse to acknowledge the importance of land as a resource, and the fact that the economic principle of supply and demand cannot apply to land. Likewise, economists seem blind to the real nature of money.

The consequences have been asset inflation—house prices in particular—with crippling effects upon those on ordinary incomes. A problematic flow-on effect has been a shift towards an attitude that wealth accumulation is simply about borrowing and buying assets.

The 'recent' crisis is not recent at all; and it raises the question, How can human beings more effectively pursue lives of dignity, creativity and happiness?

Dr John Tippet, of Victoria University, explored these and related issues in his talk Practical Philosophy and the Economic Crisis, the fifth in the Lifestyle & Culture Lecture series.

Further Information

We hope to have a full transcript of this talk available for download soon, but in the mean time, you can download Dr Tippet's Lecture Notes [PDF, 200 kb].

You may also like to download a transcript of Opportunity out of Crisis [PDF, 170 kb], a recent 2009 lecture delivered in London by Ian Mason, Head of Economics and Law and Principal of the School of Economic Science in London.

Here are some links relevant to Dr Tippet's talk:

  • You may like to visit and contribute to the Economics Forum, a vibrant forum hosted by the School of Economic Schience in London.
  • To learn about Henry George and his views, visit the henrygeorge.org website.
  • For more information on Henry George and issues related to economic reform, visit the Prosper Australia website.

In review

This fifth talk in the Lifestyle and Culture Lectures series was a great success. Around 100 people enjoyed Dr Tippet's insightful exploration of the current economic situation and its causes.

Craig delivering the Lecture

Dr Tippet delivering the lecture

The audience at tea

The audience at tea

The audience at tea

The audience at tea

Thanks to John Bodin for the images on this page.

Dr John Tippet