Thursday, September 23, 2010

Recent Economic Thought (The Beauty of Teamwork)

So this is a blog post that serves as a record of an excellent conversation I just had with Alex. We discussed the odd fact that in the so called "empirical" sciences, a priori reasoning is accepted as completely valid and thought experiments are a legitimate form of inquiry, as in the case of Einstein's relativity. The entire enlightenment was largely based off of a priori reasoning because there were simply no liberal states to empirically justify the ideas off of. That does not make the ideas any less legitimate. True, all thought experiments appear to be necessarily inspired by reality, and this could be the basis of Rothbard's Neo-Aristotelean view (although I really think we need to do more research into what exactly a Neo-Aristotelean view entails as opposed to Mises' Neo-Kantian epistemological framework). We also fleshed out what seems to be a very powerful theory for interpreting modern economic thought that I will be testing out on the new books I have to read. We know economic history fairly well up until the point of the Keynesian Revolution, then the econometricians came in largely building off of the Neoclassical Synthesis assumptions of how an economic system works. After this, the Chicago School came onto the scene, but the Chicago school was basically just the current system given some theoretically superficial (at least from an economics perspective) free market logic and fervor (possibly because of Hayek's inability at the University of Chicago to convince Friedman and the others of the validity of the mental frameworks necessary to comprehend deep Austrian theory... without that they could only go so far, and it would explain why their system appears so eclectic). Although the good thing about the Chicago school is that it paved the way socially for the free market views of the Austrians... there is little acceptance of a purely Keynesian theory, although the defenses against it must always be maintained. The main challenge to the school now is the methodological debate, because that is the block that seems to keep the Chicago people from comprehending the Austrian theory at the level of depth necessary to truly have really productive intellectual discussions. Our combined research over the last few weeks is proving to be enormously productive.

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