NYC Book Launch: What Money Wants — An Economy of Desire | Panel Discussion with Author Noam Yuran
21 October 2014
The Cultures of Finance Group at the NYU Institute for Public Knowledge invite you to join us for the US launch and panel discussion of Noam Yuran’s What Money Wants: An Economy of Desire from Stanford University Press. This event will be hosted by the Department of Media, Culture and Communication at NYU Steinhardt, on the 8th floor of 239 Greene Street. In conversation with Noam are scholars Arjun Appadurai, Ben Kafka, Ben Lee, and Robert Wosnitzer.
Throughout the second half of the 20th century, economics has suppressed its long lasting association with philosophy. Its basic concepts, such as money, exchange, goods or capital, whose meanings were traditionally subject to philosophical controversies, appear today as purely technical terms. This technical form that economic language wears reflects a categorical philosophical resolution which has been made, and thus no longer appears philosophical. If that is the case, then answering the challenge to rethink economics, raised at the wake of recent financial crises, cannot stop short of reopening suppressed philosophical questions.
What Money Wants addresses this challenge through the question of money. It attempts to conceptualize money as an object of desire. As this possibility is comprehensively rejected by contemporary economic thought, it necessitates a comprehensive reformulation of the philosophical foundations of economics. The book shows that such foundations can be found in the works of thinkers who were banished from the discipline as part of the crystallization of the contemporary orthodox framework, primarily Karl Marx, Thorstein Veblen, Max Weber and Georg Simmel.
The book explores the philosophical implications of grounding money on desire as well as the new light it sheds on contemporary capitalism. It argues that we need to reread Marx and Veblen in order to better understand economic phenomena such as brand names, finance, consumer society and more.
Noam Yuran is a lecturer at the Department of Politics and Government in Ben Gurion University in Israel and a research fellow at the Minerva Humanities Center at Tel Aviv University.