posted on 03 June 2016
Written by Philip Pilkington
For the past year and a half I've been working in investment where I've found a job that allows me to pursue non-mainstream economic research.
Some of you may recall that I was writing a book during the last days of the Fixing the Economists (FTE) blog. I'm happy to say that this book is now fully completed and has been accepted for publication by Palgrave Macmillan. The provisional publication date for the book will be October 2016 and the price will be around £19.50. The book's title will be: 'The Reformation in Economics: A Deconstruction and Reconstruction of Economic Theory'.
The book will not be a rehash of material that is available on the FTE blog. I consciously avoided this as I thought that it would be rather boring. So the book is all brand new material. Some of the ideas were thrown around on the blog in more primitive form but I have tried to develop them properly in the book.
The idea for the book is to go right back to first principles. The more I engaged with economic theory the more I found two things:
The aim of the first half ofthe book is to interrogate these foundations - this is the act of deconstruction alluded to in the title. When we interrogate these foundations much of mainstream economic theory is shown to be entirely irrelevant - nothing more than a series of floating symbols that have no parallel existence in the real world. By understanding this this we also form a clear conception of what a good theory that is actually oriented to the real-world would look like.
The second half of the book attempts a reconstruction of what I call 'stripped-down macroeconomics'. The first half of the book argues that any theoretical edifice that is overly precise or unwieldy will not function when applied to the real world. For this reason, economic theory is much better served by using very simple and clearly understood ideas. These ideas are then thought to serve as schemata - that is, "an organized pattern of thought or behavior that organizes categories of information and the relationships among them" - which can be mapped onto empirical material in order to gain an understanding of the world around us.
There is much else in the book that is dealt with along the way:
Although the book attempts to tackle the foundations of economic theory I had no interest in turning it into a dry, abstract tome full of needlessly big words and short on examples.
Anyway, I will be doing some media for the book in the coming weeks and months. I will update this post whenever new media appears. If you are interested in following this I would suggest that you should just check back here from time to time. Of course, when the book comes out I will also provide links to purchase it here.
I have also included below the table of contents for the book.
The Reformation in Economics: A Deconstruction and Reconstruction of Economic Theory
Section I: Ideology and Foundations
Section II: Stripped-Down Macroeconomics
Section III: Approaching the Real-World
Conclusion and Appendices
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