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
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?
I've been thinking for quite some time about a possible book length research project, which I envision will take approximately 2 years to get to a state where I would have a manuscript to submit to a publisher. As I have been thinking through possible directions and problems, I have settled on the following as … Continue reading Three Worlds of Evolutionary Economics
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
The title of this blog post, is of course, a reference to Paul Feyerabend's famous (or if you prefer, infamous) slogan "anything goes". But a careful reading of Feyerabend shows that he didn't really mean literally, "anything goes". My immediate goal however is not to defend or critique Feyerabend per se, at least not today. … Continue reading Can anything go?
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
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.