RE: [OPE] Mistaking Mathematical Beauty for Economic Truth

Date: Sun Sep 13 2009 - 06:53:59 EDT

> In reply to Alejandro, almost any categorization of a phenomenon can be
> modelled mathematically to reveal its quantitative implications. The problem
> is not with mathematics per se, but as Ian Wright notes, the problem is with
> poor conceptualizations of economic reality.
That might be true if all phenomena could be adequately grasped through
formal logic - the logic of mathematics. There are aspects of reality, and
social life in general, that can not be understood through formal, logical
methods. I will agree with you, though, that the problem isn't with
math per se. The problem lies with economists and others falling for the
illusion that all questions - not matter how complex and contradictory - can
be adequately expressed quantitatively.
> You can model uncertainty, if you can define the
> dimensions of certainty and uncertainty.
At least in economics, you can model uncertainty very poorly.

>> We do have an alternative, but that alternative goes beyond classical
> political economy and beyond neoclassical economics. Our point of departure
> is to understand the economy not via a mystical bourgeois or Marxist theory,
> but understand it as it really works, how it really works in reality.
That alternative should grasp the limitations of mathematical models.
Even some of the better mainstream economists, like the late Oskar Morgenstern,
grasped this. Alain Liepietz understood it when he critiqued "algebraic Marxism".
And, there is a growing international movement of students and
professional economists - in the post-autistic movement - which grasp many
aspects of the problem.
In solidarity, Jerry_______________________________________________
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Received on Sun Sep 13 06:57:32 2009

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