John Horgan sobre a “Caoplexidade” e seu valor para a ciência econômica:

For all these reasons, I view economics in the same way that the late Clifford Geertz viewed his field, cultural anthropology. Anthropology, Geertz said, “is a science whose progress is marked less by a perfection of consensus than by a refinement of debate. What gets better is the precision with which we vex each other.” (I love that “vex” remark.) Geertz also told me that in anthropology “things get more and more complicated, but they don’t converge to a single point. They spread out and disperse in a very complex way. So I don’t see everything heading toward some grand integration. I see it as much more pluralistic and differentiated.”

Geertz called anthropology “faction,” which he defined as “imaginative writing about real people in real places at real times.” This is postmodernism. Postmodernism does not apply to all of science; science can sometimes achieve absolute, permanent truth. But postmodernism certainly applies to economics and other social sciences. Economists who abhor postmodernism might prefer thinking of their discipline as a branch of engineering. Engineers don’t seek The Truth or The Answer, a unique and universal explanation of a phenomenon or solution to a problem. Engineers merely seek answers to specific, localized, temporary problems, whether building a bridge across the Hudson, reducing segregation in cities or making moola in the stock market. I’m sure Barkley would agree: if you’ve got a model that can make you rich, who cares if it’s True or merely true?”

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