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Fallible Knowledge


  • Rogério P. de Andrade

    () (Unicamp)


The paper discusses the nature and role of knowledge in a socio-economic life marked by genuine uncertainty. The starting point is to regard that uncertain environments render knowledge fallible and contingent. Knowledge is fallible for reasons associated both with interactions in space taking place at the same time (complexity), and with the passage of time. The paper stresses two types of knowledge, namely, "knowledge how" and "knowledge that". The former is the knowledge of the way we perform something and the latter is the knowledge of why it is that we perform something. One way that agents find to cope with the condition of fallible knowledge is to resort to conventions (Keynes) and rules (Hayek). Conventions and rules are the repository of a social, intersubjective form of knowledge, which agents may acquire, store and communicate with each other. They partly provide the necessary information for the undertaking of their daily activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Rogério P. de Andrade, 2004. "Fallible Knowledge," Nova Economia, Economics Department, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Brazil), vol. 14(1), pages 123-149, January-A.
  • Handle: RePEc:nov:artigo:v:14:y:2004:i:1:p:123-149

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    knowledge; Keynes; Hayek;

    JEL classification:

    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
    • B00 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General - - - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches
    • B50 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - General
    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General


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