The Specter of Ignorance in Economic Theory and Practice: An Introduction to the Issues | E-Axes
 

Search
Login
Username:
Password:
Not a member yet? Click here.
Forgot your Password?
Archives - Categories
Home
On Inequality
On the Eurozone Debt Crisis
On Monetary Policy and Central Banking
On Global Economic Growth
On the Greek Debt Crisis
On the Banking and Financial Sectors
On Brexit
On China
On India
On Global Inflation
On Currencies
On the US Debt
On the "Economics" of the Arab Spring
Blogs
Working Papers
Books
Books suggested by members



The Specter of Ignorance in Economic Theory and Practice: An Introduction to the Issues

date Date: January 1, 2017
date Author(s): George DeMartino
date Affiliation: University of Denver
Abstract
Economists typically apply themselves to the expansion of the terrain of economic knowledge, mapping those domains that they believe to be amenable to scientific analysis via the application of economic concepts and methods. This vision of economics is essentially optimistic: it presumes that economic science progresses over time as economic knowledge pushes against the frontier separating the known from the unknown. But this model of economic science is illusory, and it is potentially dangerous when it is drawn upon (as it often is) to secure authority for the profession. The model obscures the fact that economics treats material that entails not just the unknown, but the unknowable; and that recognition of ignorance ought to be central to theoretical and applied economics. What do we not know now in economics, what might we never know, what might be unknowable in principle—and how should these epistemic limitations bear on economists’ practice? Alternative strategies for managing authority in the context of ignorance include (among others) Nassim Taleb’s skin-in-the-game ethic; Wendell Berry “way of ignorance;” and David Colander’s “muddling through.”

© 2011–2017 e-axes. All rights reserved. | Credits | Contact Us | Privacy Statement | Tue 23 Jan, 2018 09:55:31 AM
e-axes is proudly powered by Norder - Creative Solutions