The Greatest Trick of the Devil

In a recent Article in American Affairs, economist Phillip Mirowski presents an interesting and cogent argument that Neo-liberalism is a well organized, well funded, and quasi-coherent vision of political economy. He argues for the existence of what he terms a Neo-liberal Thought Collective (NTC) which only partially overlaps with Neo-Classical Economics.  In Mirowski's view, the … Continue reading The Greatest Trick of the Devil

Are some ideas not worth debating?

In an article in  the AAUP's Journal of Academic Freedom, noted historian Joan Wallach Scott draws a distinction between the protections afforded by Academic Freedom and the First Amendment. The distinction is an important one: the claim to protection for academic freedom  rests on a claim to expertise in one's discipline. In contrast, the First Amendment … Continue reading Are some ideas not worth debating?

Economic History and Inquiry

I'm still thinking through the issues related to my last blog post and my research project, today's post will be rather short. Since I have some free time this week, I decided to do a little browsing and came across these two interesting articles on Economic History and Historical methods written by economists. The Historian's … Continue reading Economic History and Inquiry

In Defense of a Modest Scientism

Not surprisingly, Steven Pinker's new book, Enlightenment Now , has already generated significant controversy.  Since I haven't read the book yet, I won't comment on the book itself. Suffice it to say, it does seem that Pinker's critics (see for example here and here ) are raising some valid points in arguing that Pinker has oversimplified … Continue reading In Defense of a Modest Scientism

Initial Reflections on today’s exchange.

I had a great discussion/exchange of views today with my friend and colleague in the English and Humanities Department, Mich Niyawalo, on The Economic Consequences of the Peace. I can say quite honestly that I learned a bit from Mich's presentation and our conversation afterwards. Professor Niyawalo will be providing me with a written text … Continue reading Initial Reflections on today’s exchange.