December 26, 2015

Methodological retards

Comment on Simon Wren-Lewis on ‘Economists and methodology’


You write “Economists do not think enough about their own methodology. This means economists are often not familiar with methodological discussion, which implies that using what they write on the subject as evidence about what they do can be misleading.”

The core problem of economics is the scientific incompetence of economists since Adam Smith. The defective methodology is merely an epiphenomenon.

(i) The first thing one has to realize is that economics is a failed science, see blog post How the intelligent non-economist can refute every economist hands down.

(ii) Economic methodology is on the same abysmal level as the economic theory itself, see blog post Towards the true economic theory and How economists became the scientific laughing stock.

(iii) In order to make economics a science there is no other way than to retire both orthodox and heterodox economists, see blog post Free academia from economics.

The big question of economic methodology is Sherlock Holmes’ Hound-of-the-Baskervilles question, that is, why did methodologists not debunk and reject what is so easily identifiable as a proto-science or what Feynman called cargo cult science. Clower seems to be the one exception.

“Suffice it to say that, in my opinion, what we presently possess by way of so-called pure economic theory is objectively indistinguishable from what the physicist Richard Feynman, in an unflattering sketch of nonsense ‘science,’ called ‘cargo cult science’.” (1994, p. 809)

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

Clower, R. W. (1994). Economics as an Inductive Science. Southern Economic Journal, 60(4): 805–814.

Related 'Mental messies and loose losers' and 'Scientific Cave men with a daunting message' and 'Profit and the collective failure of economists' and 'Doomed and damned'.