Knock, Knock… The Mailman Has Just Arrived

… delivering a new book, the next item to read. It is Prof. Mellar’s “Szemben az árral – Rendhagyó közgazdasági előadások” [Against the Main Stream – Extraordinary Lectures in Economics]. Far-reaching reasoning, fundamental questions and exciting answers. A “must” for everyone interested in the ultimate questions of economics.

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Let’s Make Science Work This Way

This is the first paragraph of Paul Feyerabend’s famous paper, “Consolations for the Specialist”. Its supportive tone deserves attention:

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In the years 1960 and 1961 when Kuhn was a member of the philosophy department at the University of California in Berkeley I had the good fortune of being able to discuss with him various aspects of science. I have profited enormously from these discussions and I have looked at science in a new way ever since. Yet while I thought I recognized Kuhn’s problems; and while I tried to account for certain aspects of science to which he had drawn attention (the omnipresence of anomalies is one example); I was quite unable to agree with the theory of science which he himself proposed; and I was even less prepared to accept the general ideology which I thought formed the background of his thinking. This ideology, so it seemed to me, could only give comfort to the most narrowminded and the most conceited kind of specialism. It would tend to inhibit the advancement of knowledge. And it is bound to increase the anti-humanitarian tendencies which are such a disquieting feature of much of post-Newtonian science. On all these points my discussions with Kuhn remained inconclusive. More than once he interrupted a lengthy sermon of mine, pointing out that I had misunderstood him, or that our views were closer than I had made them appear. Now, looking back at out debates* as well as at the papers which Kuhn has published since his departure from Berkeley, I am not sure that this was the case. And I am fortified in my belief by the fact that almost every reader of Kuhn’s “Structure of Scientific Revolutions” (Princeton, 1962) interprets him as I do…

*Some of which were carried out in the now defunct Café Old Europe on Telegraph Avenue and greatly amused the other customers by their friendly vehemence.

There are many lessons to learn. First, we must have professional quarrels with each other. This is the essence of science and of our job. We must be ready to learn others’ views and thoughts and we should always be ready to defend our ideas. Without debates no progress is possible. Second, it always makes sense to study every aspect of a problem. If are there settled views on a problem, seem to be sorted out once and for all…? We are justified to look into these answers in order to find out whether they are correct or not.

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to Albert Einstein! Perhaps it is a commonplace, but he has been one of the greatest minds. His story is the story of how to change the rules and how to replace the ultimate grounds on which we stand when scrutinizing reality. Moreover, he has been one of the most prominent advocates of the realist standpoint in the philosophy of science. According to him, our theories should somehow be true in their abstraction. The Einstein-Bohr debate was the culminantion of the realist-instrumentalist opposition in the 20th century.

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“Very Deep is the Well of the Past”

A review on

De Vroey, Michel (2016): A History of Macroeconomics from Keynes to Lucas and beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Michel De Vroey, professor emeritus of Université Catholique de Louvain, has hardly to be presented to the readers interested in the history of modern macroeconomics. The researcher, who rose to fame as the visiting professor of some high-flying universities, including Sorbonne of Paris or Duke University of North Carolina, will deservedly crown his professional career with this new work of his. His previous papers and books (among which there are pieces written in English and French as well) demonstrate his particular interest in the evolution of high theory between Keynes and Lucas, especially in the deep analysis of Keynesian economics, neoclassical synthesis, and new classical macroeconomics led by Robert E. Lucas. Of course, these labels cannot comprehend the realm covered by Prof. De Vroey’s interest and his unsurpassable knowledge. One could hardly find an area within modern macroeconomics on which he did not already exert his detailed and grounded views. His latest book is quite fresh from the press, after a prolonged waiting it was released on the 7th January, 2016. The warm reception and the keen interest excited by this work are clearly described by the simple fact that the publishing house ran out of its printed copies after one month and a half of distribution, so, when writing these rows, the readers have to wait for a reprint. The volume endows its author with authority even for the first sight: on the basis of the short recommendations on the back cover from Olivier J. Blanchard or even Lucas himself it is evident whom we will face. We can read the commentaries of a historian of the economic thought who was privileged to directly observe the most exciting decades of the evolution of modern macroeconomics. He is a witness and an insider.

The full body of the text is available here.