The 2008 Veblen-Commons Award recipient: Rick Tilman.

Position:Brief article

It is entirely appropriate for RICK TILMAN to receive AFEE's Veblen-Commons Award on the 150th anniversary of Veblen's birth. Rick is one of our generation's most important scholars on the work of Thorstein Veblen. He has gone beyond interpretation and reinterpretation of Veblen and commentators on the contribution of Veblen to economics and the social sciences. Tilman has examined Veblen's work in the wide scope of western scholarship, thereby framing institutional economics in that tradition.

Perhaps his most significant contribution has been to effectively link Veblen's economics with John Dewey's instrumental philosophy. One consequence of this linkage is an explanation of the need for democratic participation in shaping the evolution of economic institutions. In doing so, Tilman has made it clear that progressive economic change depends on democratic institutions. This leads us to appreciate that the success in economic reform will remain problematic. There are no natural laws leading us to...

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