René Passet is a politically committed economist who was among the pioneers of the transdisciplinary approach in economics and one of the first to advocate sustainable development. He is the author of many works and articles (some of them published in these pages) and has received, among other honours, the Prix du livre d’économie [Economics Book Prize] for his work Les Grandes Représentations du monde et de l’économie à travers l’histoire [The Major Representations of the World and the Economy throughout History], a tome of almost 950 pages arguing, against a panoramic background of the history of ideas and societies, for an economics that is open to other disciplines.
Franck-Dominique Vivien has read the book for Futuribles and presents us with some of its lessons. He begins, for example, by reminding us how, for René Passet, economic development constitutes a political project set within the context of biological evolution. He then shows how the work rounds off and extends René Passet’s œuvre, developing a very particular conception of the discipline of economics, whose systems of thought reflect the human thinking of their times. Lastly, Vivien speaks of the committed economist dedicating his thinking to the service of the emancipation of men and women, in the hope that they will reacquire the conviction that, “with their wills, dreams and utopias”, they are the makers of history.