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The Philosophy of John Maynard Keynes (A Reconsideration)

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  • Elke Muchlinski

Abstract

[eng] This paper outlines the theory of knowledge John Maynard Keynes had developed in his writings. It sheds a light on a different understanding of his central notions like intuition, individual judgment, convention and logic, which is compatible with his view of uncertainty. The reconsideration of his philosophy rejects current attempts to anchor his theory of knowledge against infinite regresses of reason. The movement from categories of truth to categories of knowledge underlines the relativity of the Cambridge Philosophy, of idealisms as well as of empiricism, he already had presented in his philosophical papers. Keynes transformed orthodox categories, which enabled him to analyse economic decision- making in the light of ignorance and uncertainty. [fre] Cet article expose dans ses grandes lignes la théorie de la connaissance développée par John Maynard Keynes dans ses écrits. L'éclairage différent qui en est proposé porte sur des notions qui sont centrales chez cet auteur, comme l'intuition, le jugement individuel, la convention et la logique, mais reste compatible avec sa conception de l' incertitude. Le présent réexamen rejette les tentatives actuelles d'ancrer sa théorie de la connaissance sur le raisonnement logique à rebours et infini. Passer comme Keynes le fait de catégories qui renvoient à la notion de vérité vers d'autres qui se réfèrent à celle de connaissance est significatif de la distance relative, déjà visible dans ses écrits philosophiques, qu'il prend par rapport à la philosophie de Cambridge, par rapport à l'idéalisme mais aussi par rapport à l'empirisme, comme en témoigne le Traité sur les Probabilités. C'est en transformant les catégories orthodoxes que Keynes devient à même d'analyser la prise de décision économique dans un contexte d'ignorance et de d'incertitude.

Suggested Citation

  • Elke Muchlinski, 1998. "The Philosophy of John Maynard Keynes (A Reconsideration)," Cahiers d'Économie Politique, Programme National Persée, vol. 30(1), pages 227-253.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:caecpo:cep_0154-8344_1998_num_30_1_1220
    DOI: 10.3406/cep.1998.1220
    Note: DOI:10.3406/cep.1998.1220
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michel Beaud & Gilles Dostaler, 1995. "Economic Thought Since Keynes," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 146.
    2. Craig Freedman, 1995. "Animal spirits in his soup: a look at the methodology and rhetoric of The General Theory," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 79-104.
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    9. Sheila C Dow, 1991. "Keynes's Epistemology and Economic Methodology," Working Papers Series 90/1, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
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    1. Anna Carabelli & Nicolo De Vecchi, 2001. "Hayek and Keynes: From a common critique of economic method to different theories of expectations," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(3), pages 269-285.
    2. Elke Muchlinski, 2012. "Keynes’s Economic Theory – Judgement under Uncertainty," Chapters, in: Thomas Cate (ed.), Keynes’s General Theory, chapter 3, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Muchlinski, Elke, 2003. "Épistémologie et probabilité chez Keynes," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 79(1), pages 57-70, Mars-Juin.
    4. Elke Muchlinski, 2005. "The Lucas Critique and Keynes Response.Considering the History of Macroeconomics," Macroeconomics 0503019, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Richard Arena & Eric Nasica, 2021. "Keynes's Methodology and the Analysis of Economic Agent Behavior in a Complex World," GREDEG Working Papers 2021-10, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.
    6. Muchlinski, Elke, 2003. "Against rigid rules: Keynes's economic theory," Discussion Papers 2003/2, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    7. Muchlinski, Elke, 2011. "Die Rezeption der John Maynard Keynes Manuskripte von 1904 bis 1911. Anregungen für die deutschsprachige Diskussion," Discussion Papers 2011/7, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.

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