Thursday, November 07, 2013

Economics: Theology or Science?

Robert Shiller, a professor of economics at Yale , writes “on whether economics is science:  HERE , Wednesday 6 November, and RUSS ROBERTS of Café Hayek comments, 6 November HERE 
Robert Shiller: “We judge economics by what it can produce. As such, economics is rather more like engineering than physics, more practical than spiritual.”
Russ Roberts: I don’t agree with any of that. And I don’t think Adam Smith or F. A. Hayek (or my co-host, Don Bourderaux) would either. I think understanding how prices emerge to steer resources without anyone being in charge to be intrinsically fascinating and even spiritual.
We may wonder at something but to believe it is “even spiritual” is theology, not science.


Blogger Dr. Ed Morbius said...

I found Carl Sagan's observations on Astrology quite informative. He starts:

"Astrology developed into a strange discipline. A mixture of careful observation, mathematics and recordkeeping, with fuzzy thinking and pious fraud."

Well, now doesn't that sound familiar? But it gets better. Why, say, do we have an economic orthodoxy that's so clearly flawed in its inability to predict much or guide policy, outside some very narrow parameters, and yet, cannot be supplanted by a more realistic model?

"Astrologers became employed only by the state. In many countries it became a capital offense for anybody but the official astrologer to read the portents of the skies. Why? Because a good way to overthrow a regime is to predict its downfall."

Discussed on G+:

Sagan himself on from Cosmos:

1:45 pm  

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