Intro to Logos Abused

Intro to Logos Abused - LOGOS ABUSED The Decadence and...

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LOGOS ABUSED The Decadence and Tyranny of Abstract Reasoning in Economics Mason Gaffney, 3 January 1990 The writer acknowledges the role and value of abstract reasoning in economics. He has done his share of it, and is not reacting against rationalism or marginalism. Abstract, however, should not mean abstruse or obscure; theoretical should not mean irrelevant or impractical; ideal should not mean intolerant or imperialistic. Theorists are increasingly scorning those rules and carrying their work beyond its proper role to extremes of abstrusity, irrelevance and presumption that are damaging and screening out students and writers whose purpose is to understand and apply economic reasoning to the human condition. This paper seeks through historical parallels to understand the animus behind that movement, and suggest how to check its excesses. 1. Six kinds of cognition There are different methods of cognition (knowing, understanding and ordering the data of the senses). Our concern is with cognition of social life, including relationships of property, markets,
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Intro to Logos Abused - LOGOS ABUSED The Decadence and...

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