Monday, March 19, 2018

Claire Connelly — Neoliberal v Neoclassical economics – what’s the difference?

Bad title, which the author corrects in the article. Neoliberalism is a political theory rather than an economic theory. Neoclassical economics is an economic theory. The tile contains a category error.
The most important thing to understand is that neoliberalism is a post-war political movement that grew out of the Mont Pelerin Society, a thought collective that formed a consensus not to put the market at the centre of the state, but to take it over completely. Its entire objective is to co-opt economics and subvert the public interest to suit the needs of powerful capitalist institutions and the politicians, economists, financiers, philosophers, bankers, think-tanks and media organisations that support them.
Neoliberalism is associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism and was pioneered by economist Milton Friedman & Friedrich Hayeck, but as the economic historian, Philip Mirowski points out, this is a deliberate deception to trick people into thinking it is concerned about market equilibrium...
Renegade Inc
Neoliberal v Neoclassical economics – what’s the difference?
Claire Connelly | editor-in-chief of Renegade Inc.


John said...

Tom, I really hope you read this!

I thought I'd post this comment here because it's your most recent post and one that is slightly philosophical in that it has a bearing on meanings.

I saw you somewhere put up a link to what Charles Sanders Peirce really meant by abductive reasoning. The link didn't work. Can you give a link to a fixed one? There's a lot of confusion and argument over Peirce's definintions, especially inference to the best explanation. Apparently, almost everyone gets this backwards. I've been meaning to get to Peirce for some time, but given all the argument that still rages it's hard to know where to start. I don't even know whether Joseph Brent's biography is any good, but it seems to be the most decent (only?) one available. I'd really appreciate some help.

Truth be told, the last time you went out of your way to help me, I never really tackled those Sanskrit books! But as a lover of the philosophy and history of science (as well as outright science), I'm willing to walk over coals for a real understanding of Peirce and his thinking. He may well be the greatest philosopher no one has ever heard of.

Tom Hickey said...

He may well be the greatest philosopher no one has ever heard of.

The Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce is available for free download.

There books by and about Peirce available for download at Monoskop.

There is also ARISBE as host of Works by Charles Sanders Peirce

This is pretty complete, other than works about Peirce.

Those interest in a short intro to Peirce might begin by reading How to Make Our Ideas Clear by Charles S. Peirce. Popular Science Monthly 12 (January 1878), 286-302. It's perhaps his best known essay. It is based on clear and distinct ideas, which Descartes introduced in his Discourse on Method, one of the key books that launched Modern Philosophy and became a foundation for scientific method. Most people are probably familiar with Descartes from Cartesian coordinates. He introduced analytic geometry, which joined algebra and geometry.

Peirce is best known for his contributions to the theory of sign. He was the first to use the term "semiotics" for the study of signs. This is his primary contribution to logic.

His ideas about abduction address the issues around the logic of scientific discovery that is central to philosophy of science. BTW, Karl Popper wrote a book entitled, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, which can be download from

Tom Hickey said...

Oops. Here's the clickable link.

The Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce is available for free download.

John said...

Tom, thanks ever so much for all that. I hope they don't conflict with all the eminent people who have said that people have inexplicably gotten Peirce back to front, which may be also the case with wikipedia. Why he's so problematic is strange, but Wittgenstein (never understood him, no matter how many books I've read by others on him) gets a fair amount of it too. Apparently, with Peirce, so the critics say, is all you have to do is read his works and you'll find he's in fact arguing the opposite of what is portrayed to be today. Given he wrote so much, it was difficult to know where to begin. But I'll trust your judgement and see where it leads.

Incidentally, I read Popper's LSD some years ago and was left unimpressed because I was expecting so much more, more so given how much people I respected raved about it (my book review got what amounted to a failing grade from a biased professor, but I aced the course as a whole). I'm semi-ashamed to say I really liked Feyerabend (which made me public enemy number one)! Everyone I knew hated him: worst enemy of science and all that nonsense. If you stay clear of his intentional playing the fool in some of his books (although done for very good reasons that many readers miss) and went instead through his collected papers, you'll see a really subtle and brilliant mind at work (you'd have to know quite a lot of physics).

As for all the freebie books by Peirce, what can I say? Other than, if I ever find myself in your neck of the woods, drinks are on me. We'll steer clear of that weak piss you Americans call beer...

Tom, you really should think of doing a post on philosophers and the books you would personally recommend (no blue and brown books!). You know like Lars Syll's list on heterodox books. Many of us would find it a useful guide. I don't know about you, but I love Russell's Human Knowledge. I've been tackling (or trying to tackle again) his Analysis of Mind and Analysis of Matter. Really excellent books. I'm finding the Mind book to be much harder but then again much more rewarding. Russell was so staggeringly brilliant but a rather odd sod, but you can't help but love him, Monk biography or not.

Anyway, thanks again.

Tom Hickey said...

Here is a paper on Abduction.

How did abduction get confused with inference to the best explanation?
William H.B. McAuliffe

One of C.S. Peirce’s most misunderstood ideas is his notion of abduction, the process of generating and selecting hypotheses to test. Contemporary philosophers of science have falsely cited Peirce’s idea of abduction as a conceptual precursor to the modern notion of inference to the best explanation, a mode of inference used to decide which of competing explanations of a phenomenon to regard as true. Here, I examine how the misunderstanding originated by exploring influential discussions of inference to the best explanation in the works of Gilbert Harman, Bas van Fraassen, Paul Thagard, and Peter Lipton. While all these authors either failed to cite, or incorrectly cited, Peirce, I show that Thagard has noted a sense in which Peirce’s early work provides a precursor to the modern notion of inference to the best explanation. However, a careful reading of Peirce shows that “abduction” has never been a proper synonym for “inference to the best explanation.” So Peirce is not to blame for the misunderstanding. I conclude by defending the philosophic importance of abduction and demonstrating how applying Peirce’s criteria for good abduction to debates in evolutionary theory can move the field forward.

Tom Hickey said...

Here is another on abduction as Peirce conceived it.

Jaime Nubiola, Abduction or the logic of surprise

Tom Hickey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Hickey said...

These is a list of the basic works from the various wisdom traditions, in alphabetical order. While it is not possible to understand them by using intellect or reasoning because the key terms can only be understood from non-ordinary experience, they are important because 1) they suggest a possibility for non-ordinary knowledge based on non-ordinary experience, 2) they suggest that others have attained this experience and knowledge, 3) they set forth various models that can be helpful in approaching it, and 4) they provide methods for proceeding.

Bijak by Kabir
Bhagavad Gita
Discourses by Meher Baba
Enneads of Plotinus
God Speaks by Meher Baba
Gospel of Thomas
Heart Sutra
Japji by Guru Nanak
Masnavi of Jalaluddin Rumi
New Testament
Qabalah: The Mystical Heritage of the Children of Abraham by Daniel Feldman
Tao Te Ching
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Tom Hickey said...

Wittgenstein (never understood him, no matter how many books I've read by others on him) gets a fair amount of it too

Wittgenstein cannot be understood because he neither explaining nor making claims. He is elucidating.

Most commentators are like a dog looking at the finger pointing at the moon rather than the moon. That is to say, most don't get that LWS is pointing to things that cannot be described or explained. You either see it or you don't.

He was not doing "normal philosophy."

I think we are seeming something similar with the acceptance of MMT by so-called experts.

Tom Hickey said...

Oops. Here is the link to the McAuliffe paper cited above.

Tom Hickey said...

This is a "top ten" list in the History of Western Philosophy. These are some of the big influencers, alphabetically by title.

They are not only about the history of Western thought but also methodology.

Cartesian Mediations - Edmund Husserl
Critique of Pure Reason - Emmanuel Kant
Dialogues -Plato
Enneads- Plotinus
Meditations - Descartes
Metaphysics - Aristotle
Phenomenology of Mind - G. W. F. Hegel
Philosophical Investigations - Ludwig Wittgenstein
Summa Theologia - Thomas Aquinas
Treatise on Human Nature - David Hume

Kaivey said...

'Ironically, neoclassical economics guarantees full employment because it models a system with no frictions or inconveniences like trade unions, minimum wage laws or imperfect information. Also false.'

Yeah, there will be full employment alright, rather than starve people will work for bowl of rice a day.

When everyone is on rock bottom wages getting maxed out on their mortgages and rents, and high taxes to pay for the wars and do make up for the taxes the elite don't pay, there won't be any economy left. But what do a handful of people at the top care if capitalism that creates vibrant middle class and lots of rich people if they are creaming it by wrecking everything else.

Matt Franko said...

Kaivey properly trained STEM people consider those outcomes a failure ... it’s the non STEM people who have and are continuing to F it all up...

Matt Franko said...

“I think we are seeming something similar with the acceptance of MMT by so-called experts.”

Tom what do you mean? You don’t think they really understand it?

Tom Hickey said...

I think it's highly likely they can't understand it owing to their cognitive-affective bias and intellectual investment that results in path-dependence.

Conventional economists would have to question the entire normal paradigm.

Others would have to give up key pieces of theirs.

Thus you see when they do shift somewhat, they say, "We knew this all along."

Matt Franko said...

“I think it's highly likely they can't understand it owing to their cognitive-affective bias and intellectual investment”

Yep they never trained correctly... we need to get these people nowhere near material systems administration... they are completely unqualified and incompetent...

Matt Franko said...

Tom this is interesting

He would HIT students when they didn’t exhibit learning... I GUARANTEE he was teaching via rote...

I submit I could get ANYBODY better at Math via active methods ie more repetitions.... ANYBODY...