EuroEconomica, Vol 22, No 1 (2009)

The utility of the consumer from the ancients to the classics

Cristina Gabriela Zamfir, Gabriela Virlan


The concept of utility is, together with the one of cost, the most important one in economic theory; all economic theories – except for the one of the producer – consider utility in their substantiation. Utility appears involved in the subjective theory of value, in the theory of imputation, of decision, of welfare and of playing. Due to the signification it possesses, utility has been initially debated by philosophers, theologians, scientists, who have inevitably inserted ethic or religious elements in the definition of the concept. To a great extent, economic problems are also ethic problems and the contradictions and interferences between moral and economy or their interdependencies with other social sciences have been a reason of controversial debates, especially during the last decades. This study is first of all a theoretical one, presenting multiple aspects on the evolution of the utility paradigm in the economic theory – starting with Antiquity and finishing with the classics – also considering the progress generated by its development in the science of Economy. 


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