How Can We Avoid Closed-Ended and Single Exit Theories in Economics and Political Economy: Reflections on Richard Wagner's Mind, Society and Human Action
Studies in Emergent Order, Vol. 4 (2011): 149-155
7 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2014
Date Written: September 17, 2011
Richard Wagner's Mind, Society and Human Action is a brilliant exposition of the implications of pursuing the “open” as opposed to “closed” perspective (what he terms neo-Mengerian orientation in contrast with a neo-Walrasian orientation). The closed model brings tractability, but only by rendering the social ordering process trivial. Reconciliation of the pursuit of individual interest and social order is not so much explained but collapsed one into the other. “Within this closed framework, people do not truly make choices. They face a list of enumerated options in the presence of a well-defined utility function, and the outcome is inexorable, similar to involuntary reflexes.” (2010: 21) Closed-ended theories of choice fit neatly with single-exit theories of the market.
Keywords: Menger, Walras, General Equilibrium, political economy
JEL Classification: B41, B53, P51
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation