Deductive Irrationality

Deductive Irrationality : A Commonsense Critique of Economic Rationalism

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Deductive Irrationality examines and critiques economic rationalism by assessing the work of influential political philosophers and economic theorists such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Adam Smith, Friedrich Hayek, Gunnar Myrdal, and John F. Muth. It is one of the first serious attempts to investigate the dominant sub-fields in economic theory through the lens of political philosophy.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 260 pages
  • 150 x 226 x 8mm | 439.98g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739116258
  • 9780739116258
  • 74,125

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Table of Contents Chapter 2 1 Introduction Chapter 3 2 John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and the Development of Political Economy Chapter 4 3 Adam Smith and the Invention of Economic Science Chapter 5 4 Ethical and Methodological Foundations of Marshall's Economics Chapter 6 5 Keynes's Return to Reality: The General Theory of Employment Chapter 7 6 Rational Expectations Economics as the New Classical Economics Chapter 8 7 Friedrich A. Hayek's Economic Theory of Law Chapter 9 8 The Theory of Economic Development as Presented by Gunnar Myrdal Chapter 10 Notes Chapter 11 Appendix Chapter 12 Bibliography Chapter 13 Index
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Review quote

In their study of economics as rooted in the scientific rationalism of early modern political philosophy, Richard Staveley and his students offer a profound critique of economics as a purely abstract or mathematical science that is detached from reality as we know it by commonsense experience. Anyone who wants to understand the dubious philosophical assumptions of economics-and of the other social sciences as influenced by economics-must read this book. -- Larry Arnhart, Northern Illinois University This timely, original, and thought-provoking collection of essays, taken as a whole, constitutes a fundamental critique of the theory and the practice of economics. It argues that the much admired theoretical and quantitative sophistication of modern economics is a dangerous illusion that gives rise to bad and potentially disastrous policy prescriptions. The essays attempt to lay bare the source of this illusion-a longstanding and mistaken view of the scientific method-and to show how it has influenced economists since Adam Smith. -- Peter McNamara, Utah State University Ideal for students of public policy, this book peels back the protective covering of modern political economy, revealing the inner logic of economic rationality: a logic of economism with its own set of arbitrary and unsustainable policy preferences. Modern political economy has rarely received such an anatomy of abstraction, delivered through concrete case studies of public policy frameworks devised by the great liberal theorists of economic rationality: the Lockean liberals judged against standards of pre-liberal commonsense found in Aristotle's political science. What would Aristotle think of modern political economy? You have the answer here in your own hands, and it is not all negative. -- John Uhr, Crawford School of Economics and Government, Australian National University
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About David Kehl

Stephen McCarthy is a research fellow for the Griffith Asia Institute at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. David Kehl is an economist who has worked for the Australian Departments of the Treasury and of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
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