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Common Sense: A Middle Way between Formalism and Post-Structuralism?

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  • Davis, John B

Abstract

John Coates's The Claims of Common Sense argues that common-sense philosophy is central to Cambridge economics and philosophy, and represents a viable middle way between formalism and post-structuralism. This paper concentrates on the opposition between common sense and formalism. The latter is explained in terms of Quine's formal semantics and neoclassical axiomatic choice theory, which share a critique of ordinary language, a commitment to logical determinacy, a functionalist view of mind, and the idea of ontology driven by logic. Coates's common-sense Cambridge alternative is explained in terms of Wittgenstein's and Keynes's views on vagueness. Copyright 1999 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Davis, John B, 1999. "Common Sense: A Middle Way between Formalism and Post-Structuralism?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(4), pages 503-515, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:23:y:1999:i:4:p:503-15
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    Cited by:

    1. SALMON, Pierre, 2002. "Science économique et sens commun : trois thèses sur leurs relations réciproques," LEG - Document de travail - Economie 2003-02, LEG, Laboratoire d'Economie et de Gestion, CNRS, Université de Bourgogne, revised Jan 2003.
    2. Lukáš Kovanda, 2010. "Kritický realismus: ontologická báze postkeynesovské ekonomie
      [Critical Realism as an Ontological Basis of Post-Keynesianism]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2010(5), pages 608-622.
    3. Dow Alexander & Dow Sheila C., 2011. "Animal Spirits Revisited," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-25, December.
    4. Miguel A. Duran, 2007. "Mathematical Needs and Economic Interpretations," Contributions to Political Economy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(1), pages 1-16.
    5. Andrew Mearman, 2010. "What is this thing called ‘heterodox economics’?," Working Papers 1006, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
    6. Sheila C. Dow, 2014. "Consistency in pluralism and microfoundations," Working Papers PKWP1408, Post Keynesian Economics Study Group (PKSG).

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