Hi All,

Wolfram hits the nail on the head with point 2 below.  A scientific project would have been well into the replacement of the neoclassical worldview by now.  The problem which they face is that they must resolve problems and anomalies in Kuhnian fashion AND simultaneously find a paradigm with the requisite ideological functionality.  This failure to move on is in fact one of the best pieces of evidence that neoclassical economics has been ideological from the start.


From: AFEEMAIL Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Wolfram Elsner <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday 6 May 2019 09:47:50
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Subject: [AFEEMAIL] AW: [AFEEMAIL] Neoclassicism, etc.






fully agreed, no problem. I have argued that a lot of dynamics in the neoclassical mainstream is taking place in generating variants of models and mid-range theories, which apparently is located in the protective belt, while their teaching, advising, public ideology-generating all refer to (are based on) the hard core of basic axioms, the basic world-view and core reference models of the world.


And there is located individualist optimization and myopic rationality, partial equilibrium and general equilibrium, as you say.


But as they have crashed (i.e., being increasingly unconvincing and unattractive, running into puzzles, if you like) with a lot of their core, namely individualistic isolated rationality and GET, very few of them really continue to work in their hard core, but tend to do research in the protective belt. So the core remains untouched, which of course is its characteristic, and thus can still be used in textbook writing, teaching and public bla-bla-ing.


The question then has been for years (increasingly so since 2008), why such a paradigm does not fall into a severe crisis and gets replaced, according to Kuhnian sequences. This has to do with both


(1)  the “internalist” problem of measuring and proofing in the social sciences and with

(2)  the “externalist” function of economics (in particular) to generate the legitimation, ideology and everyday rhetoric (and consciousness) of the ruling system.


Which in turn means, as I have argued, there is a growing schizophrenia between their hard core and their protective belt, if you prefer it this way.







Von: AFEEMAIL Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] Im Auftrag von Yoshinori Shiozawa
Gesendet: Sonntag, 5. Mai 2019 21:57
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Betreff: Re: [AFEEMAIL] Neoclassicism, etc.


Terry and Wolfram's comments are amusing, but are missing the target. As Lakatos argued, any research program have a hard core and protective belts. Terry and Wolfram are talking about protective belts. When we want to define a school of economics, we should detect the hard core. Political opinions and arguments belong to protective belts.


In my last post, I wrote about theoretical framework. I was talking about the hard core of classical and neoclassical economics. Hick's characterization may be too coarse as a definition and we have to add more words in order to get a clear definition of the hard core of the neoclassical economics. It must contain at least two pillars:

(1) a framework of analysis based on agents' optimization and system's equilibrium,

(2) a value theory built on the above framework, i.e. a theory that economic states can be described by the equilibrium point of demand and supply functions. 


(1) is more general and characterize the methodology of neoclassical economics but remains too abstract. As a hard core of economics, it needs to contain the second pillar. The prototype of (2) was formed at the time of Jevons and Marshall, but it is better to say that it was Marshall who created the very prototype in the form of crossing point of demand and supply curves. This is what I believe as the rough history of economics in English speaking world. Cases of countries in the European continent may be very different.


Yoshinori Shiozawa  

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