Lawson on Veblen on Social Ontology
This paper discusses Lawsonâ€™s use of Veblenâ€™s concept of â€˜neoclassical economicsâ€™ and argument that the category of neoclassical economics should be jettisoned on the grounds that it obfuscates effective critique of mainstream economics. The paper links Lawsonâ€™s critique of closed systems and Veblenâ€™s cumulative causation view by offering a reflexivity, feedback loop formulation of the latter aimed at overcoming the pre-Socratic dichotomy between Heraclitian and Parmenidean ontological thinking. The paper then reviews what this implies for three key social ontology doctrines: social reality as processual and highly transient; emergence and the appearance of novelty; the internal relatedness of social reality. Final remarks address the use of the â€˜neoclassical economicsâ€™ concept.
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