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Showing posts from February, 2014

Rhetoric and Economics

Economics, as an academic discipline, remains a philosophical pursuit. This causes a "crises of identity" when students confront the notion that economics might be as much philosophy as anything else.

How might I justify this claim, when contemporary econ programs in the United States have a deeply ingrained "quantitative" and "computational" identity? How can I claim there is any crisis in a field that deeply, emotionally, attaches itself to math and "scientific" methodologies?

As readers know, I am an ambivalent believer in quantitative research and computational modeling. We need models, and they serve many purposes, but they are not "science" in the way most of the population now understands the label.

In sciences such as quantum physics, cosmology, neuropsychology, and even climatology, disagreements are common, but there are core areas of agreement. Most sciences have a certain "Duh?" set of assumptions that support …