Saturday, January 14, 2012

CT has a history of defending political theory as independent and of limited use regarding actual politics (cf. various discussions of Rawls). Other times, arguments concerning political life are made ex cathedra (see the previous post). Sometimes they're contemptuous or just a little snide. Henry Farrell
This obviously has implications for the kind of ‘how the 2012 US presidential elections are likely to play out’ questions that we usually don’t have much to say about here at CT (our partial reticence doing its little bit to cancel out the volubility on this topic in the rest of the political blogosphere)
And then sometimes, now more frequently than in the past, we get this [full post with all links]
Hear hear! What a wonderful short interview with Sanjay Reddy by Perry Mehrling from the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET): 
Reddy defends the position that economics is a profoundly value-entangled science, and that “Good theory is theory which illuminates the world, and good theory cannot start from a-priori premises which are disconnected from the world. Good theory has to start in part from observation from the world.”

I agree with every word Reddy says, but am a bit puzzled why Mehrling sees Reddy’s position as ‘a strong position’. In my view, if it is regarded (by economists?) as a ‘strong position’, that is just because economics has so forcefully tried to distance itself from any evaluative or otherwise ethical concerns; but in truth, economics has never been value-free, it has only fooled itself that it could be so. I’m really glad that Reddy is contributing to a better understanding of economics as value-entangled. Can’t wait to read the result of his INET project, “a book making a broad case for the resurrection of normative reasoning in economics”.
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