Shortlisted for The People’s Book Prize 2021-2022.

Science explains and understands the world of matter, philosophy explains and understands the world of spirit. Economics is the meeting place of these two worlds. Whilst the immediate concern of economics is policy in the “world of matter”, the key participant in economic life is the human being, whose ultimate purpose of participation is to do with the “world of spirit”. Hence economics meets these two realms, stands at their interface. Its task is to ensure the rule of justice.

This book is aimed at presenting a common-sense, first-principles, philosophical perspective on a vital subject that seems to have lost its way. There is such a thing as justice, there is such a thing as truth; and these two need not be lost forever.

Life is meant for the well-being of all who are born onto this earth. Everyone wants to be happy, everyone seeks fulfilment in life, everyone prefers abundance. This is not the common state in the world today, however, and much is due to the human failing of greed. This book suggests that solutions can be found by returning to first principles:

• Economics is the knowledge to support and encourage prosperity whilst managing human greed.
• Economics is to provide for the practical possibility of every individual fully developing his or her potential as an intelligent, creative, happy being.
• Economics is the institution and protection of the reign of economic freedom.


Author Details
John Tippett has lectured in economics for 30 years, in Australia and internationally, in both the university environment and the public arena. His formal training as an economist began at the University of Melbourne and continued at Monash University.

An upbringing on a family farm in north-western Victoria and early studies in agricultural science had a large influence on forming in him values of self-reliance, responsibility and practicality, all of which inter-penetrate his thought and writings on economics; and his 30-plus years of active membership of the School of Philosophy in Melbourne has been an even greater influence in this regard.


Economics is not about measuring artificial constructs such as GDP, or inflation, nor whether stock prices follow a geometric brownian motion. Economics concerns human welfare, and the best mechanism to achieve the fairest outcome which preserves our civilisation.”
Dr Kim Sawyer

“I’m really enjoying reading John’s book “A Philosophers take on Economics”, absolutely spot on for what is happening today. I’m pretty sure it’s the only book I’ve read by an economist (philosopher) that I could understand! And I sub-majored in economics many years ago at Melbourne Uni.”
Grant Tenni

“I ‘Saw the Cat’ whilst reading John Tippett’s book in April. Now a proud ‘Georgist’ currently reading Progress and Poverty.”
Gerald Vandermeer

“A fantastic easy to read book on the true nature of economics. A gift that needs to be shared further in this world.”
Luke, review on

“Easy to understand. Not a chore to read but a pleasure. Unlike many economics books I looked forward to reading it. Could only be written by someone who has devoted decades of not just study, but practical application, to economics and philosophy. Consequently common sense and truth with some humour relating to the hidden obvious is apparent in this light read.”
Christopher Kemp, review on

“This is THE BEST book to understand how the economy really works. And that economics was originally about the well-being of people and not numbers and statistics. The section on the special nature of land is simply brilliant. I love this book, it is one I refer to time and time again.”
Cathy Stacey, review on

“A great book.”
Johnnie Stapleton, review on