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« Jeff Friedman's Response to Comments on Engineering the Financial Crisis | Main | Pausing to Note the Continued Upward Climb of Humanity »


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This is sad news. Mark Blaug was one fine scholar. In addition to Economic Theory in Retrospect, which Dr. Sautet mentions, I would also point out that his book on eocnomic methdology was also very, very good. His contribution to economics was profound, and I hope that students continue to read, and learn from, his excellent work.

Is there a better history of economic thought book out there that's as detailed and rigorous? Perhaps there is but I can't seem to find one.

Yes, I also detected a certain move by Mark Blaug toward greater understanding of and sympathy with the Austrian School as time went on. Initially, he was quite unsympathetic largely because of Mises's apparent "craziness" about the empirical aspect of economic theory. But as Blaug came to realize: (1) the limits of falsificationist methodology and (2) the potential of Austrian economics to understand the real world, he saw things differently.

Blaug was also critical of Austrian criticisms of macroeconomics, sometimes arguing that insisting on a type of Austrian- based micro-process approach would mean the "end" of standard macroeconomic theory and policy -- and this seemed too "extreme" to him.

But the one fundamental problem that always bothered me with his "Economic Theory in Retrospect" was his analysis of all past theoretical contributions by the standard of contemporary mainstream theory. Thus, every past economist's contribution tended to be judged by the benchmark of "modern" neo-classical economics.

The idea of, also, analyzing and evaluating the economist's ideas in the context of his own time and controversies plays second- or third-place role in the book.

But having said this, his analysis is clear and precise. He has an excellent exposition of Wicksteed's reservation demand and reservation price theory.

Richard Ebeling

Mark Blaug wrote a beautiful memoire which I like so much I have put it on line. I like the way he went to Paris as a young man with The Open Society and its Enemies in his bag and did not go out for about three days until he had finished reading it.

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