This volume offers scholarly perspectives on the creative and humorous nature of the protests at Gezi Park in Turkey, 2013. The contributors argue that these protests inspired musicians, film-makers, social scientists and other creative individuals, out of a concern for the aesthetics of the protests, rather than seizure of political power.
Is economics always self-corrective? Do erroneous theorems permanently disappear from the market of economic ideas? _Intellectual Path Dependence in Economics _argues that errors in economics are not always corrected. Although economists are often critical and open-minded, unfit explanations are nonetheless able to reproduce themselves. The problem is that theorems sometimes survive the intellectual challenges in the market of economic ideas even when they are falsified or invalidated by criticism and an abundance of counter-evidence. A key question which often gets little (...) or no attention is: why do economists not reject theories when they have been refuted by evidence and falsified by philosophical reasoning? This book explores the answer to this question by examining the phenomenon of intellectual path dependence in the history of economic thought. It argues that the key reason why economists do not reject refuted theories is the epistemic costs of starting to use new theories. Epistemic costs are primarily the costs of scarcity of the most valued element in academic production: time. Epistemic scarcity overwhelmingly dominates the evolution of scientific research in such a way that when researchers start off a new research project, they allocate time between replicable and un-replicable research. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the methodology, philosophy and history of economics. (shrink)
Questions such as ‘What if such small companies as Hewletts and the Varians had not been established in Santa Clara County in California?’ or ‘What if Q-type keyboards had not been invented?’ are well known among economists. The questions point at a phenomenon called path dependence: ‘small events’, the argument goes, may cause the evolution of institutions to lock in to specific paths that may produce undesirable consequences. How about applying such skeptical views in economics to human ideas and thought (...) in general? That is to say, what if we ask such questions as: what if Greek philosophy had not been interested in ‘essences’ and ‘foundations’? What if Kant had not invented the ‘thing-in-itself?’ Nature and society, according to such Platonic philosophers, can be known only if it can be shown that events are governed, regulated and characterised by ‘forms’, which are immutable, complete, and perfect in their nature. But is there an ‘essence’ that makes a man 100 per cent male? Was there really a ‘foundation’ in history that caused a proletarian revolution in Russia? What if we had pushed aside the rhetoric of utopian ideality? What if we had a worldview different than the one depicted by Thomas More in his Utopia? The essay points at the possibility of such skepticism in human ideas and thought. (shrink)
Errors in the history of economic analysis often remain uncorrected for long periods due to positive epistemic costs (PEC) involved in allocating time to going back over what older generations wrote. In order to demonstrate this in a case study, the economists’ practice of the “Coase Theorem” is reconsidered from a PEC point of view.
Is there not any place in the history of ideas for the imperfect character of human doings (i.e. capability of error) that is repeated for so long until we lately start to think that it had long been wrong? The answer is: In the conventional histories of ideas there is almost none. The importance of the phenomenon,however, is immense. Intellectual history is full of errors. Scholarly errors are among the factors that generate intellectual pathways in which consequences of historical small (...) events feed back up on each other positively and give rise to historical pathologies in the end. Pathways hold the intellectuals dependent on the consequences of errors which interact upon each other and prevent resulting pathologies to disappear fully. As a result, ideas do not converge to a level of perfection. Evolutionary account of errors suggests that errors in the history of ideas matter even though they are often corrected. (shrink)
The frequency of historical materialist explanations in evolutionary social sciences is very low even though historical materialism and evolutionism have great many shared aims towards explaining the long term social change. David Laibman in his Deep History (2007) picks up some of the standard questions of evolutionary social theory and aims at advancing the conception of historical materialism so as to develop a Marxist theory of history from an evolutionary point of view. The contribution of Laibman’s work is to show (...) that historical and materialist explanations are present both in Marxian and evolutionary interpretations of history, and moreover, the traditional borders of historical materialism can be enlarged so as to embrace evolutionary methodology in explaining social change. The unbalanced research methodology of Laibman’s work, however, reduces the evolutionary depth of his contribution. The two main shortcomings of Laibman’s work are discussed under the titles of “The Audience Problem” and “The Evolutionary Problem”. (shrink)
How do ideas evolve? Can one speak of scientific progress when there is more than one pathway of intellectual evolution in which different ideas emerge and flow in different directions? Is the history of economic analysis a compilation of a number of intellectual pathways? This essay argues that it is possible to understand the course of history as a number of overlapping, divergent, and endlessly changing pathways. Such pathways operate in different fashions. They sometimes lead to more coherent and high (...) levels of understanding. And sometimes they delay or obstruct advancement in intellectual history. In both cases, outcomes are unpredictable and multi-directional. (shrink)
Considered here are matters relating to the responsible conduct of research in economics and science in the United States for the last forty years. In science there was a “late 20th century wave” of scientific misconduct and then a “millennial wave”. For economics in the former era, episodes of honest error and replication failure occurred. Recently plagiarism and data manipulation have been reported. Overall few economists seem to fabricate data, but falsification of data, replication failure, and plagiarism occur. Furthermore, replication (...) failure is the one thing that scientific misconduct and honest error have in common. In economics and compared to the sciences, there have been no misconduct hearings, no economist has been charged with a crime, nor has anyone served time in prison for scientific misconduct. Science and economics seem to be sufficiently self-corrective so that systemic science failure does not utterly thwart scientific progress in the long run. (shrink)
In this paper, we report the findings from the data we collected from a survey in order to measure how common research ethics education in economics is. We have found out that (1) research ethics is taught in only a very few economics departments around the globe; (2) topics related to research ethics are not taught in courses on economics and ethics; and (3) the number of papers published in specialised peer-reviewed journals on economics education is only a tiny fraction (...) of the number of papers published in these journals. There has been no evidence in economics showing that economics departments have taken strong initiative on teaching research ethics to undergraduate and graduate students. (shrink)