Why economists and sociologists are not so libertarians, and vice versa

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ABSTRACT, and PREFACE

Although a social scientist and a libertarian will often meaningfully talk to each other, sometimes agree on issues, or even struggle together for some freedom-and-justice  targets mix, their inner logic will systematically diverge. I argue here.

What follows, in Italian, is also an epistemic meditation on a generous but failed attempt to create a new libertarian movement in Italy: “Fare per fermare il declino” (Let’s do something to stop the decline).

On the one hand, even an ethically strongly motivated social scientist puts, as a MetaNorm, Science methods,  networks (visible and invisible colleges), norms and trust – on a higher rank than his own ideological preferences.

On the other hand, even the most learned and specialized libertarian as I am too in some respect (perhaps), “en tant que libertaire” (s)he would stick to axioms, beliefs she’s not ready to put into that Washing Machine. i.e.,  the scientific experimental (lab, economtric, sociometric and\or thought experiment), trial and eventually “phalsification” Popperian preconcepts-washing processes.

Then, there is the worst of contemporary “culture”:

Derrida- Foucault- US “French Theory”

(the PostModern sub-culture excluding; forgetting the only one today’s great French Philosopher, Emmanuel Levinas: even if he was a Derrida’s magister! And the #PostMoMobs read a paper on him in On Grammatology); they will object that we’re #PaleoPositivists: see Helen Pluckrose @HPluckrose and discussion on her post here:  https://areomagazine.com/2017/03/27/how-french-intellectuals-ruined-the-west-postmodernism-and-its-impact-explained/

Ref.s

1 François Cusset 2003, French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United State. La Découverte;

2 bruno latour 2004, http://www.bruno-latour.fr/sites/default/files/89-CRITICAL-INQUIRY-GB.pdf  – Why Has Critique Rub Out of Steam? …, Critical Inquiry 30 (Winter 2004)

3 Helen Pluckrose @HPluckrose. March 27, 2017 post:
How French “Intellectuals” Ruined the West: Postmodernism and Its Impact, Explained

I wrote on fb today:
Enzo Arcangeli presso Instituto de Economia da Unicamp.
1 h · San Paolo, Brasile ·

Delle sostanziali differenze tra economisti- sociologi, e liberali.

I primi, se sono serii e on fiatin Popperiani, sono laici verso qualsiasi forma-modalita’ delle istituzioni sociali possa funzionare meglio, nei diversi contesti e scopi.
As usual in Science, possono sbagliare clamorosamente, come il povero Aoki di Stanford con la sua J firm, formalizzata ok, ma gabellata per geneticamente superiore, in quanto piu’ lungimirante della M firm (proprio per il difetto della J di farsi credito da se’ e non dover fare affatto profitti di BP!), ahime’ proprio poco prima che Japan e Keiretsu arrivassero a fine corsa.

I liberali delle varie costellazioni della galassia, tendono ad ipostatizzare i mercati perfetti, e questo cum juicio ci sta [poi arrivano, se del caso, le evidenze empiriche di non contendibilita’ o cmq fallimenti].
La cosa che io trovo in loro piu’ intellett. disonesta e’ il parlare AS IF vi fosse un unico Capitalismo. Ossia, praticano il “capitalismo scientifico” proprio come i soc-dem tedeschi fecero parlare Marx morto di un ancor piu’ idiota “socialismo scientifico”. Ed il capitalismo induista del Gujarat sorto prima che in GB, come lo facciamo rientrare nel Calvinismo?

Gli economisti e sociologi partono dalle loro piu’ diverse ideologie personali (che entrano legittimamante nei Lakatosian research programmes, or Kuhnian paradigms), ma poi strada facendo si contaminano, sono stocasticamente attratti da analisi rigorose, metodologie validate ed evidenze empiriche robuste. Salvo le code di economisti troppo “di scuola”, o la VERGOGNOSA iattura dei residui marxisti in sociologia.
Ad es. il cult dei liberali, che si vede bene non lo conoscano ne’ biograficamente ne’ personalmente (io lo incontrai quando insegnammo assieme a Cargese), Coase arriva laburista negli States e proprio per questo si focalizza sul momento essenziale SOCIALISTA dell’organizzazione (opposta al mercato) che gli altri ignoravano.
Facendo cosi’ una delle 10 piu’ importanti scoperte delle scienze sociali del ‘900.

The Nature of the firm.

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David Cass has died

david cass

Let me just remember a couple of things in his innovative,  outstanding and always thought-provoking intellectual legacy:

– extrinsic uncertainty, with Karl Shell (1983): DO SUNSPOTS MATTER?

– “His year devoted to the search for a necessary and sufficient condition for efficiency in the neoclassical growth model led to the remarkable condition that the sum of the inverses of the present prices of capital over the infinite future should be finite” (from the quoted Am. Ec. Ass. pdf).

Please look at:

http://econ.upenn.edu/DavidCass.pdf

http://www.econ.upenn.edu/~dcass/

Michele Boldrin: Shine on you, Crazy David

best introduction to Dave is perhaps this 1998, 26 pages interview with Spear and Wright, a nice piece of autobiography and contemporary history of economic sciences:

http://www.econ.upenn.edu/~dcass/cass_interview.pdf

It starts with his oral interview with Ken Arrow … ! Real fun.

Not only his friends will miss David Cass.