The Postmodern Moments of F. A. Hayek'S Economics

Economics and Philosophy 10 (1):31-58 (1994)
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Abstract

Postmodernism is often characterized, among other things, as the belief in the unattainability of objective truth and as a rejection of teleological and reductionist, or essentialist, forms of thought. For instance, in his provocative book The Rhetoric of Economics, Donald McCloskey sketches the implications for economic methodology of Richard Rorty's rejection of the modernist quest for Truth, as represented by various rationalist and empiricist epistemologies. McCloskey describes modernist methodology as displaying a desire to predict and control, a search for objective–;which often means measurable–;knowledge, and an attempt to develop a value-free inquiry, among other characteristics. This “methodological correctness,” McCloske suggests, is discredited by the postmodern dissatisfaction with traditional epistemology. Thus, in place of the modernist belief in a rule-guided path to truth, he advocates a “free market” approach to knowledge, in which participants in the variety of theoretical conversations agree to be earnest and listen politely to one another.

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Citations of this work

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