October 1, 2016

Heterodoxy’s scientific self-deception

Comment on Lars Syll on ‘Paul Romer’s assault on ‘post-real’ economics’

Blog-Reference and Blog-Reference

The scientific method is well-defined and well-known since the ancient Greeks: “Research is in fact a continuous discussion of the consistency of theories: formal consistency insofar as the discussion relates to the logical cohesion of what is asserted in joint theories; material consistency insofar as the agreement of observations with theories is concerned.” (Klant, 1994)

Logical consistency is secured by applying the axiomatic-deductive method and empirical consistency is secured by applying state-of-the-art testing.

Economics is a failed science because economists care NEITHER much about conceptual* NOR empirical consistency. This is why economics never got out of the proto-scientific cul-de-sac: “An indifferent tolerance of obvious error is even more corrosive to science than committed advocacy of error.” (Romer)

Economics never rose above logically and empirically inconsistent storytelling. This is true for Orthodoxy AND Heterodoxy. The self-deception of Heterodoxy consists in idealizing inconsistency as pluralism or realism: “It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong!” **

Science, though, is digital=binary=true/false and NOTHING in between. There is NO such thing as roughly right or roughly wrong, there is only materially/formally true/false. From the justified critique of Orthodoxy’s missapplication of mathematics does not follow that Heterodoxy’s informal blather is methodologically superior.***

Romer concluded his assault on post-real economics: “There is trouble ahead for ALL of economics.” ALL means all logically/empirically inconsistent approaches, that is, Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism.****

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

* See post ‘Humpty Dumpty is back again
** See post ‘Heterodoxy, too, is scientific junk
*** See post ‘All models are false because all economists are stupid
**** See posts ‘Out of science’ and ‘How Keynes got macro wrong and Allais got it right