The substantive meaning of economics certainly offers us a new way of looking at the human beings  that live in real world societies.  Indeed, in Polanyi’s view, the representation of the so called rational economic man does not apprehend the multiple set of issues related to human nature and human needs in the context of social interaction.

In fact, the fundamental problem in economics, for Polanyi, is the attendance of human needs. This approach to  economics is supported by ethical principles that touch on social justice.

Today, what is urgent to highlight to students is the importance of the substantive meaning of ‘economics’. The substantive meaning derived from the social nature of man and his interchange between his natural and social environment. While taking into account different ways of organizing men’s livelihoods, Polanyi provides a guide that stimulates empirical observations of economic life in the real world. He emphasizes the importance of history and of a multidisciplinary approach to social and economic change since economic development is overwhelmed by the role of culture. Following this guide, students will certainly understand the deep challenges of formal economic analysis to face our contemporary problems.