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Uncertainty and imagination, illusion and order: Shackleian connections


  • Brian J. Loasby


Shackle's work has many connections, to economic, scientific and philosophical ideas and also to the practicalities of economic organization and business management. Uncertainty is not only a pervasive problem, but a necessary condition for human intelligence, initiative and imagination; unpredictability is essential to both scientific progress and entrepreneurship. We create knowledge by making patterns that enable us to impose order and envisage new combinations in an evolutionary process, driven by human purpose, of competing and complementary conjectures, many of which turn out to be false representations. Though academia was Shackle's natural environment, he was always concerned with applicability, and testament to the practical relevance of his ideas is provided by two former senior managers, with particular emphasis on the fundamental and domain-specific issues of what to think about and how to think about it. Copyright The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian J. Loasby, 2011. "Uncertainty and imagination, illusion and order: Shackleian connections," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(4), pages 771-783.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:35:y:2011:i:4:p:771-783

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    Cited by:

    1. Marina Bianchi & Sergio Nisticò, 2018. "Shackle: an enquirer into choice," Working Papers 2018-03, Universita' di Cassino, Dipartimento di Economia e Giurisprudenza.
    2. Harry Bloch & Stan Metcalfe, 2011. "Complexity in the Theory of the Developing Firm," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economic Complexity of Technological Change, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Morroni, Mario, 2014. "Production of commodities by means of processes," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 5-18.
    4. repec:eee:tefoso:v:124:y:2017:i:c:p:77-87 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Foster, John & Metcalfe, J. Stan, 2012. "Economic emergence: An evolutionary economic perspective," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 420-432.

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