By Michael C. Carroll (auth.)
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Extra info for A Future of Capitalism: The Economic Vision of Robert Heilbroner
That is, the principle that all events are the inescapable result of preceding causes (Canterbery 1987). If you look at the work of Smith, Marx or Keynes one begins to see that each man makes assumptions about human nature and the society's institutional structure, and then extrapolates the system's future. Each scenario is deduced through a logical chain of cause and effect. The system unfolds through the endogenous interaction of the reasoned variables. What sets the worldly philosophers apart is the range of variables they were willing to view as endogenous.
While economic science apes the physical science's hypotheticodeductive methodology, it differs in one very important way. Unlike the general laws of physical science, the laws of social science are not Limitations of Traditional Economics 27 falsified if a single exception - Popperian falsification - proves them incorrect. In any given instance most would agree that a particular individual may deviate from their normal rational behaviour if faced with unusual or unfamiliar circumstances. The abstracted 'ideal human' has not been without its critics.
Two downward sloping curves may never intersect and therefore provide any sort of equilibrium condition. Markets simply may not clear. In other words, 'maximization has itself lost its classical 30 A Future of Capitalism determinacy, because the time span over which profits are to be maximized can no longer be defined once and for all' (Lowe 1969, 12). In the nineteenth century when traditional economic laws were being formulated, individual behavioural patterns corresponded to the conventional maximizing norm.
A Future of Capitalism: The Economic Vision of Robert Heilbroner by Michael C. Carroll (auth.)