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Épistémologie et probabilité chez Keynes

Listed author(s):
  • Muchlinski, Elke

    (Université libre de Berlin)

This paper deals with Keynes epistemological approach to the theory of probability, which was also relevant for his economic theory. In his economic theory he objected to formal aestheticism, rigid rules, and orthodox theory because of its alleged universality in space and time. He transformed categories such as rigor and complete knowledge into uncertainty, ignorance, and anticipations. His economic theory encompasses fragility and precariousness of knowledge since he had already rejected Benthamite calculation. He abandoned constructivism because he rejected empty concepts as dry bones. He left classical empiricism behind him since he needed to focus on a priori principles. Cet article propose une analyse épistémologique de la théorie des probabilités de Keynes. Il concerne plus particulièrement le lien entre la conception keynésienne des probabilités et la théorie économique élaborée par Keynes. Nous montrerons que Keynes s’oppose à l’esthétisme formel, aux lois rigides et à la théorie orthodoxe en raison de sa prétendue universalité spatio-temporelle. Nous verrons que Keynes substitue aux catégories traditionnelles, entre autres celles de rigueur et de connaissance complète, de nouvelles catégories comme celles d’incertitude, d’ignorance et d’anticipation. Étant donné que Keynes rejette d’entrée de jeu les calculs du type ce ceux que l’on retrouve dans les approches inspirées de Bentham, nous ferons voir que sa théorie économique prend en compte la fragilité et la précarité de la connaissance. Nous insisterons enfin pour dire que Keynes nous paraît également dépasser le constructivisme, car il rejette ouvertement le recours aux concepts vides, à savoir ceux qui ne sont pour lui qu’un squelette sans chair. Enfin, nous mettrons en évidence que, poussé par le besoin de se fonder sur des principes valides a priori, Keynes abandonne l’empirisme classique à son sort.

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Article provided by Société Canadienne de Science Economique in its journal L'Actualité économique.

Volume (Year): 79 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (Mars-Juin)
Pages: 57-70

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Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:79:y:2003:i:1:p:57-70
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  1. Winslow, E G, 1989. "Organic Interdependence, Uncertainty and Economic Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(398), pages 1173-1182, December.
  2. Fitzgibbons, Athol, 1988. "Keynes's Vision: A New Political Economy," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286417.
  3. Athol Fitzgibbons, 1998. "Against Keynes' Recantation," Cahiers d'Économie Politique, Programme National Persée, vol. 30(1), pages 147-166.
  4. Elke Muchlinski, 1998. "The Philosophy of John Maynard Keynes (A Reconsideration)," Cahiers d'Économie Politique, Programme National Persée, vol. 30(1), pages 227-253.
  5. Tobin, James, 1983. "Monetary Policy: Rules, Targets, and Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 15(4), pages 506-518, November.
  6. Davis, John B, 1991. "Keynes's Critiques of Moore: Philosophical Foundations of Keynes's Economics," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 61-77, March.
  7. Baert, Patrick, 1996. "Realist Philosophy of the Social Sciences and Economics: A Critique," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(5), pages 513-522, September.
  8. Cottrell, Allin, 1993. "Keynes's Theory of Probability and Its Relevance to His Economics: Three Theses," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(01), pages 25-51, April.
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