November 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30          
Blog powered by Typepad

« Microfinance is a Band-Aid Solution to Poverty | Main | Why Does Capitalism Have Such a Bad Name? »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

In part "pre-mature" = doesn't generate a self-sustaining bureaucracy in academia or industry.

In many ways the work of Charles Darwin remains "pre-mature" = what is self-sustaining is work in mathematics or in microbiology, etc. Stuff that generates endless research problems. Work on the conceptual framework of Darwianian evolution goes neglected -- and is mostly a sideline hobby worked on in an off-hand way by folks dedicated to work on other things, e.g. S.J. Gould and other paleontologists.

Austrian economics as a global explanatory framework is in the same situation as Darwinian evolutionary biology.

Another example -- global brain theory and the work of Friedrich Hayek. Fuster points out that Hayek's work is still ahead of its time. Edelman also works in this field, but most work simply on specialized problems that have huge bureaucracies behind them.

AE went into decline while the modern form of positivism (logical empiricism in the US) became dominant in the philosophy of science. Mises could see it coming but still in his 1933 book the main target was historicism. Popper demolished positivism in 1934 and then went after historicism on his account. How come they never compared notes or even acknowledged each others efforts? What a disaster! How come Hayek didn't manage to broker a merger of his best assets at the MPS?

On the topic of Hayek and psychology, Jack Birner has a considered opinion that is worth a look. See the link from this piece

I take the point, although when AE ideas started out they weren't a 'whole' theory, they were variations on free market theory and a reaction against socialism and through iterations and development by people like Mises and Hayek. So while the AE school may now be an ideological 'whole' it wasn't then so the most appropriate aspects of AE were taken forward while others were (temporarily perhaps) discarded. Like Milton Friedman said, it is the economists job to come up with alternatives to policy, rather than needing to subscribe to a full overriding school of thought.

I agree. Darwinian evolution was a whole theory, but AE wasn't, so it isn't comparable. While aspects of AE, like socialist calculation, may have taken a while to get attention, they can't be viewed as a whole overriding philosophy. Classifying things as being 'positivist' or whatever else is reductive, each point and proposed policy needs to be judged on its own merits. Perhaps my view has been influenced by methodological individualism!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Our Books