"Towards a kapwa-based economics: A non-standard economic alternative"


College of Liberal Arts


Theology and Religious Education

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Archival Material/Manuscript

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Modern economics has been criticized for its tendency to alienate the market anthropos in the discourse, narrative and dynamics of market culture. The problem of alienation in economic thought and practice awakens the desire to redeem the human person as its primordial agent (subject) and not an object treated as a commodity for purchase and exchange. The attempt of current trends towards a human economy made me look for indigenous cultural trait(s) that can contribute to this project. By exploring Virgilio Enriquez' kapwa and William Davis' suki concepts, this paper attempts to offer an alternative to neoliberal market system that tends to totalize and objectify the small narratives of economic practices, eventually circumscribing the latter within alienating dynamics. The emphasis of a kapwa-based economics is to appreciate and affirm that within the Filipino culture, a grounded-cultural attitude can contribute to reorienting the moral-cultural fiber in the way economics should be operated in the light of Filipino indigenous mentality and paradigm. While kapwa has seen applications in various interdisciplinary projects, it has never been explored within an economic discourse. But since it may be too raw and arbitrary to correlate kapwa with economic narrative, infusing a more economically-related indigenous concept of suki can augment the lack of kapwa's economic orientation, although at the same time wary of the counter-value mechanism of suki as inherent in any mode of cultural praxis.



Behavioral Economics | Philosophy


Alienation (Philosophy); Economics—Psychological aspects; Fellowship—Economic aspects

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