by Gene Callahan
I repeatedly find attacks on positions in the social sciences made based on extremely limited and, frankly, antiquated views of how the physical sciences proceed. I will give one example from a rightist criticism of a leftist view, and one that is a leftist criticism of a rightist view, to illustrate that my point has nothing to do with ideology — or perhaps, that it has to do with the way ideology can lead one to embrace flimsy criticisms of other’s positions.
The first excerpt is from Hunter Lewis’s book, Where Keynes Went Wrong:
“In chapter 15, we saw how Keynes wrote N = F(D), which means that employment, denoted N, is a function of demand. Demand however is defined as expected sales, not actual sales. We noted that expectations are not a measurable quantity and thus do not belong in an equation.”
Well, one way to measure these expectations would be to walk around and ask the entrepreneurs “How much do you expect to sell this year?” then total up those amounts. Why in the world this would not be a fine measurable quantity is unclear. Continue reading