"Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking" - JMK
- A discussion of "the eclipse of pragmatism", downplaying the idea that it ever happened. The authors don't sound especially pro-Rorty.
- Jonathan shares an interesting passage from Menger on property, but then provides an odd little claim: "I think that this is a strong case against arguments that private property is itself a coercive institution, which is something economists such as Gene Callahan have presented in the past." Of course, this is a sentiment you've heard on Facts and Other Stubborn Things too. In neither Gene's case nor my case will you ever find a hostility to property - simply an acknowledgement that this marvelously functional system or private property that we have is necessarily coercively maintained, like any social arrangement, so that pretentious ethical systems grounded on contrary assumptions are dead in the water. Anyway, what baffles me is why Jonathan thinks Menger's point is a "strong case" against this argument. I have no idea how to reconstruct his train of thought on this, and he doesn't provide the arguments so perhaps I'll leave that to him in future posts. Well, he does write this: "The institution of property isn’t coercive, it’s inevitable, because it’s the only method of solving conflict over scarce goods", but I assume that's not the full argument. Why would the inevitability of something imply it's not coercive, after all? Why can't coercive institution solve conflicts and problems? They seem to have been doing just that for quite a while now.
- LK on Kirzner on ABCT.
- I saw Tyler Cowen on Clarendon Boulevard yesterday. I should have said hi, but I didn't. First it might have been weird and second I was with other people who wouldn't have known him. Plus he's already been featured in Businessweek and I wouldn't want the fact that random people recognize him to go to his head :)
- Some people are aware I haven't exactly been impressed with much of the criticisms raised by Casey Mulligan over the last couple years. Peter Boettke is. Thankfully, a lot of his commenters (including those who often agree with him) agree with me. Boettke is usually one of my favorite Austrian economists, but lately there's been a lot of unfortunate stuff coming from Coordination Problem!