Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ryan on Pete Boettke


Very good thoughts, although I'm not sure Boettke is going the full Sapir-Whorf. Certainly a dominant discourse shapes the way we think about things even if the fact that Eskimos have fifty ways to say "snow" doesn't mean as much as some people like to think it does. It's almost tautological - we think in sentences and the sorts of sentences we put together a lot are going to have an influence on the thoughts we think a lot.

What's wrong is the extreme nature and false dichotomy of the sentences Boettke attaches to economic scientists of the twentieth century.


  1. Eskimos don't have fifty ways to say "snow". Most of the alleged alternative words were mere compounds.

    1. Right. This has been debunked 50 times now!

  2. "we think in sentences..."

    Correction: "One way we think is in sentences." Einstein thought first in kinetic terms, meaning in his muscles. I tend to think in geometric images, and then work to put the thoughts into words.


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