Critical Political Economy: Complexity, Rationality, and the by Christian Arnsperger

By Christian Arnsperger

This ebook asks how a extra freeing economics may be built and taught. It means that if economists this day are fascinated with emancipation and empowerment, they're going to need to seriously change their notion approximately what it capability for a citizen to behave rationally in a fancy society.

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Extra info for Critical Political Economy: Complexity, Rationality, and the Logic of Post-Orthodox Pluralism

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Moreover, the criticism addressed here to mainstream economics is not predominantly political, but rather methodological. The mainstream use of economic models To put the criticism succinctly, the extent to which agents are assumed to accept the kind of model economy in which they are made to interact is also the extent to which we, as ‘‘users’’ of the model—whether as fellow economists or as external readers—are asked to accept that kind of economy. The difference is, of course, that whereas the agents inside the model are assumed to take the structure of the economy (along with its implicit values) as unquestioned data, we as agents outside the model are assumed by the modeler to take that same structure of the economy as a reflexively accepted normative ideal—if we did not, we could hardly be expected by the modeler to accept the premises of his work and hence whatever conclusion he deductively derives from them.

The difference is, of course, that whereas the agents inside the model are assumed to take the structure of the economy (along with its implicit values) as unquestioned data, we as agents outside the model are assumed by the modeler to take that same structure of the economy as a reflexively accepted normative ideal—if we did not, we could hardly be expected by the modeler to accept the premises of his work and hence whatever conclusion he deductively derives from them. This means, then, that the way in which agents are constructed for modeling purposes is functional in the normative dialog constantly occurring between the modeler and his ‘‘clients’’—students, colleagues, policy-makers, and so on—within a complex, elusive social reality.

To my mind, political economy ought to be a style of economic theorizing that takes this dilemma seriously. Political economy is a way of looking at economic problems and issues—including the problem of which economic institutions we want, and which political institutions we want in order to support them—without naively presupposing that any single theoretical paradigm can be imposed as the required medium of public debate. 12 Introduction If and whenever it takes place, public debate occurs within a real-time social and political process which outruns any theoretical attempt to pin it down and grasp it in full.

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