When science becomes dogmatism

9 April, 2016 at 12:48 | Posted in Economics | 1 Comment

GW239H358Abstraction is the most valuable ladder of any science. In the social sciences, as Marx forcefully argued, it is all the more indispensable since there ‘the force of abstraction’ must compensate for the impossibility of using microscopes or chemical reactions. However, the task of science is not to climb up the easiest ladder and remain there forever distilling and redistilling the same pure stuff. Standard economics, by opposing any suggestions that the economic process may consist of something more than a jigsaw puzzle with all its elements given, has identified itself with dogmatism. And this is a privilegium odiosum that has dwarfed the understanding of the economic
process wherever it has been exercised.

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  1. Heterodoxy, too, is no longer what it once was
    Comment on Lars Syll on ‘When science becomes dogmatism’
    .
    It is of utmost importance that heterodox methodologists regain the heights of Georgescu-Roegen: “Arithmomorphic models, to repeat, are indispensable in economics, no less than in other scientific domains. That does not mean also that they can do all there is to be done in economics.”
    .
    Georgescu-Roegen had neither sympathy for the low-IQ political blather nor for the misplaced math that counted in his time as economics and he certainly understood methodology, and in particular the axiomatic-deductive method, better than heterodox methodologists like Asad Zaman do today: “We are therefore justified in saying that with Euclid’s Elements the causa materialis of geometry underwent a radical transformation; from a more or less amorphous aggregate of propositions it acquired an anatomic structure. …. And this true mutation represents not only the most valuable contribution of the Greek civilization to human thought but also a momentous landmark in the evolution of mankind comparable only to the discovery of speech or writing.”
    .
    This is certainly not an advocacy for anything-goes, storytelling, the pluralism of false theories, and the ‘more or less amorphous aggregate’ of garbage to which economics has come down in our days.
    .
    Egmont Kakarot-Handtke


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