Keynes’ fundamental insight

4 Aug, 2020 at 12:47 | Posted in Economics | 4 Comments

The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in the escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.

John Maynard Keynes

Mark Blaug (1927-2011) did more than any other economist to establish the philosophy and methodology of economics a respected subfield within economics. His path-breaking The methodology of economics (1980) is still a landmark (and the first textbook on economic methodology yours truly read as a student at Lund University).


  1. Yes as a student Blaug’s books were ones I read avidly.

  2. “inquire, create… knowing where to look, how to question,.
    how to find your own way…(knowing how to) shape the questions that are worth pursuing”

    • One last contribution on this post, because it is a very important and relevant discussion and what many people here have been talking about.

      Chomsky makes the important point that to understand why some countries and others poor, comes down to power, and asks why is power ignored.

      Varoufakis tries to answer the question this by way of explaining that capitalism has been taken out of economics and why. He doesn’t pull his punches” “economics is a mathematicised religion” with the “ethnic cleansing” of alternative views.

      • I should clarify – the ethnic cleansing that Varoufakis refers to is “the purge of economists who kept their wits about them” – ie they could see the insanity of formalistic direction it was taking. Varoufakis, correctly I believe, says this is was a direction the profession decided to take 1950s.

        It was more a decision about methodology than socialism vs laissez faire capitalism.

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