Good question. The essay should be clearer about this.

The goals culture imagined mostly common goals, a small number, and people with similar lifestyles (often small farmers). The basis of society was collaboration on these common goals, or a division of labor based on practicality (rather than preference).

What is now known as microeconomics started out in the goals culture as a way of describing these collaborations and divisions of labor.

In the 19th century there was an argument among economists about this. It started from an idea Hume had that people’s desires/preferences were built into them and all different. That idea—of a vast universe of different preferences rather than a small number of goals—was folded by Bentham into utilitarianism and then Henry Sidgwick took on this huge task of rebuilding microeconomics on the assumption that everyone’s different and that divisions of labor come from preferences rather than practicality.

This idea was popular in economics because it meant assuming less about people and the math still worked out the same. But it was a deeply different idea about people because it assumed people mostly couldn’t relate to each others’ preferences, whereas the previous view saw people as basically the same, sharing the same goals. The underlying mathematical reformulation robbed econ of the chance to explore the samenesses, and in particular it became difficult to formulate common values like meaningful work or household security or even personal integrity in the language of economics as anything other than personal preferences.

In the late 20th Century, Amartya Sen won the Nobel prize for repairing some of the damage done to economics due to this focus on personal preferences.

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