Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Lars P. Syll — a question of economic methodology

Radical uncertainty is feature of a complex adaptive system a chief characteristic of which is emergence. Emergence is at the heart of evolution theory. Emergence in this context means that there is no way to predict what will emerge from a complex adaptive system based on investigation of the past and present state of the system. This implies that surprise is a characteristic of such systems.

This also implies that complex adaptive systems are like open systems rather than closed, receiving input exogenously, although in reality the additional input arises endogenously through the system dynamics, e.g., through reflexivity that engenders feedback and learning, but it a way that cannot be foreseen based on the present and past system states and operations.

Treating social systems as if they conformed to the structure and dynamics described theoretical in natural science, e.g., based on endogeneity, involves oversimplification. There is a strong tendency among rationalists that prefer formal solutions to adopt methodological assumptions based on mathematical tractability and convenience instead of accepting the empirical limitations of complex adaptive systems like human societies.

This has resulted in what Michael Hudson has dubbed "junk economics." Elegant but wrong.

It's long past time to admit that Keynes and Knight were correct and that Ramsey and Savage were wrong.

Lars P. Syll’s Blog
Radical uncertainty — a question of economic methodology
Lars P. Syll | Professor, Malmo University

1 comment:

AXEC / E.K-H said...

Scientific ignorance is political strength
Comment on Lars Syll on ‘Radical uncertainty ― a question of economic methodology’
Egmont Kakarot-Handtke