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The Rhetoric of Economics (Rhetoric of the Human Sciences) (英語) ペーパーバック – 1998/5/1
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Deirdre N. McCloskey teaches economics and history at the University of Iowa and is the Tinbergen Distinguished Professor at Erasmus University of Rotterdam. Author of a dozen books in economics and history, she was formerly known as Donald. Her experience in changing gender is reflected in the new edition, but the message remains the same: economics needs to get serious about its rhetoric, and back to science.
*Three new chapters, two new bibliographies
*Publishing history: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985
"The most thoughtful book on economics in years."--"Philadelphia Enquirer"
"McCloskey takes aim at the 'dismal science's' scientific pretensions in this pathfinding, elegantly written, and intellectually razor-sharp book."--"Washington Post"
"McCloskey must be credited with the singular achievement of introducing the major philosophers of the twentieth century into a discussion of the methodology of economics."--"Times Literary Supplement"
The most thoughtful book on economics in years.”"Philadelphia Enquirer"
McCloskey takes aim at the dismal science’s’ scientific pretensions in this pathfinding, elegantly written, and intellectually razor-sharp book.”"Washington Post"
McCloskey must be credited with the singular achievement of introducing the major philosophers of the twentieth century into a discussion of the methodology of economics.”"Times Literary Supplement"
McCloskey’s target is the pretentious scientism in which economists couch their mutual persuasionsa scientism that lingers on as the near-official language of economics discourse long after its inadequacies have been recognized by philosophers and scientists.”"New York Review of Books"
The importance of McCloskey’s work cannot be overstated.”"Quarterly Journal of Speech"商品の説明をすべて表示する
One of the best sources to support that case is Karl Popper but you would never know that from reading this book.
"I started again to read philosophy of science (I had stopped in graduate school, just short of the Karl Popper level). More important, around 1980 I came upon history and sociology of science that challenged the reigning philosophy. Scientists, these crazy radicals claimed, were not the macho saints that Popper said they were." (xi)
Popper was fairly aware of the human frailty to scientists and in chapter 23 of The Open Society and its Enemies he wrote:
"Everyone who has an inkling of the history of the natural sciences is aware of the passionate tenacity which characterizes many of its quarrels. No amount of political partiality can influence political theories more strongly than the partiality shown by some natural scientists in favour of their intellectual offspring..."
To round out Popper's point, whatever objectivity science enjoys does not come from the "objectivity" of individual scientists but from the quality of the discussion (rhetoric) in the profession. This is probably the point that McClosky was making.
In a critical section on modernism (essentially the positivism of the Vienna Circle and the logical empiricists who followed them) she "The logical positivists of the 1920s scorned what they called `metaphysics'. From the beginning, though the scorn has refuted itself. If metaphysics is to be cast into the flames, then the methodological declarations of the modernist family from Descartes through Hume and Comte to Russell, Hempel and Popper will be the first to go." (147)
However Popper was talking about the uses and the value of metaphysical theories in print since the mid 1950s and in lectures since the 1940s although it took a long time (until 1982) for the world o see the Metaphysical Epilogue to the third volume of Popper's "Postscript to the LSD".
Pressing on with the critique of modernism she wrote "The intolerance of modernism shows in Popper's The Open Society and its Enemies (1945) which firmly closed the borders of his open society to psychoanalysts and Marxists - charged with violating all manner of modernist regulations." (158)
I don't recall Popper writing very much about psychoanalysis in the OSE and his main target was not Freud or Marx themselves but people who refused to contemplate any criticism of the master. That does not close the borders to psychoanalysis because Popper considered that there was probably a lot of truth in Freud's ideas if only they were developed under the control of various forms of criticism.
The same applies to Marxism. Popper reacted against doctrinaire and fadist Marxism in the same way that he reacted against doctrines and intellectual fads of all kinds. Of course he regarded Marxism as much more than a fad and so he devoted several hundred pages of analysis to bring out the strong and weak points of it. It would be good to have some searching criticism of Popper's treatment of Marx from an economist with the track record of McCloskey!
These carping comments do not detract from the positive core of the book.