Book: Tony Lawson, Essays on: The Nature and State of Modern Economics (Routledge, 2015)

Tony Lawson has recently published a book entitled Essays on: The Nature and State of Modern Economics (Routledge, 2015, 262 pages).

Abstract: The financial crisis has not only revealed weaknesses of the capitalist economy but also highlighted just how limited and impoverished is modern academic economics. Despite the failings of the latter being more widely acknowledged now than ever, there is still an enormous amount of confusion about their source and true nature. In this collection, Tony Lawson also identifies the causes of the discipline’s failings and outlines a transformative solution to its deficiencies.

Amongst other things, Lawson advocates for the adoption of a more historical and philosophical orientation to the study of economics, one that deemphasizes the current focus on mathematical modelling while maintaining a high level of analytical rigour. In so doing Lawson argues for a return to long term systematic and sustained projects, in the manner pursued by the likes of Marx, Veblen, Hayek and Keynes, concerned first and foremost with advancing our understanding of social reality.

Overall, this forceful and persuasive collection represents a major intervention in the on-going debates about the nature, state and future direction of economics.

1. Some fallacies or myths of modern economics
2. Modern economics: the problem and a solution
3. The nature of heterodox economics
4. What is this ‘school’ called neoclassical economics?
5. The current economic crisis: its nature and the course of academic economce
6. Contemporary economics and the crisis
7. Mathematical modelling and ideology in the economics academy: competing explanations of the failings of the modern discipline
8. Tensions in modern economics: the case of equilibrium analysis
9. Soro’s theory of reflexivity a critical comment
10. Ontology, modern economics, and pluralism
11. The varying fortunes of the project of mathematising economics: an evolutionary explanation

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