Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Posted by dkuehn at 2:31 PM
Jonathan has his first post up on The General Theory. I want to read it and respond to it more carefully later than I have time to now (on his blog... I always feel bad that instead of commenting on others' blogs I throw up my thoughts on here), but I did want to throw one question out there. Jonathan asks "Does Keynes ever elucidate on the methodology he applies to theory development in economics?" (with more details on motivation in his post). Nothing immediately comes to mind to me, but I would venture that he's a traditional positivist. Jonathan will find that the book is peppered with statements of the form "this seems reasonable but we will have to find out from experience whether it works this way in practice". When it came to wage cyclicality, Keynes offered a speculation in the General Theory, was proven wrong with data in 1938 and 1939 by Tarshis and Dunlop, and recanted in 1939 in light of the evidence. Anybody have any more specific thoughts on Keynes and methodology? Jonathan also mentions epistemology, and I would carefully segregate this from methodology for Keynes. Keynesian epistemology is best found in his Treatise on Probability (1921).