The last great book on economics was by Keynes. There have been critiques aplenty since, some powerful others not so much, but no one has taken the time to sit down and re-write the core from a deep understanding of the changed world.I am not so sure of that, although the great books on economics were all by what Robert Heilbroner called "the worldly philosophers." Philosophy studies the whole, and the great economists were also philosophers in their own right.
Rather than select books, I would prefer to focus on names: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Thorstein Veblen, John Maynard Keynes, Karl Polanyi and John Kenneth Galbraith, for example, wrote prose rather than formal arguments and they did so for a reason. The whole is not only complicated (complication is expansion of a simple system) but also complex (complexity is a non-simple system).
Conventional economists reject their work as contributive since it is not expressed formally.
Formalization has its place but it is not suitable for describing whole in which quality is as important as quantity and not all information can be expressed either numerically or algebraically because relevant categories don't have distinct edges and smoothing them for tractability results in lossiness than eliminates significant information.
The world badly needs a contemporary worldly philosopher to carry on the great tradition in order to take into account the advent of the digital age and network effects, for example, as well as globalization. The next worldly philosopher must address the world economy as a closed system, with social and political inputs that are relevant to economic outcomes, as well as history.
Conventional economic thinking has reached a dead end.
The Radford Free Press
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