FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 11 | 12 || 14 | 15 |   ...   | 43 |

«      Boffo, Marco (2013) Interrogating the knowledge‐based economy: from  ...»

-- [ Page 13 ] --

Indeed, this interest of philosophers in economics and their attempt to use it as a resource for epistemology stems from the need to navigate between the Scylla of positivism and the Charybdis of relativism and propose ‘a philosophical approach that is sensitive to the critique of the Received View’ in Science Studies – i.e. the relativism introduced by Thomas Kuhn (1962) which informs the sociology of scientific knowledge – while ‘retaining an element of normative bite’ (Hands, 1997, S110; similarly, Hands, 2001, Tyfield, 2012).54 The two bodies of work described above differ significantly in terms of their motivations and driving forces, while also sharing intellectual origins in positivism, as well as significantly converging and overlapping in scope and subject matter and in the idea of a “marketplace of ideas” (see Zamora Bonilla, 2012 for an assessment of differences and similarities, but see also Mirowski, 2011 for discussion of the role of the “marketplace of ideas” in the ascendancy of neoliberalism). However, and despite their differences, both bodies of work can claim for themselves the moniker of economics for their recourse to mainstream economics as analytical framework, rather than for any consideration of the material conditions and determinants of scientific activity or of the connections between scientific activity and broader socio-economic structures, dynamics and processes. With respect to the contributions of economists, this prompted Sent (1999) to distinguish between economic theory of science and economic aspects of science. Indeed, with their focus on mainstream economics, none of these bodies of work is concerned with investigating the social structures within which scientific activity is carried out and embedded, their links to the division of labour (both within scientific activity itself and across society as a whole), and the changing dynamics of funding This process is not dissimilar from the way in which reaction against, and retreat from, the excesses of postmodernism across the social sciences have been one of the sustaining forces of the (complex and uneven) reception of economics imperialism in “colonised” or otherwise “attacked” disciplines (Fine, Milonakis, 2009). For more on the ESK, see Zamora Bonilla, 2012 and, for sustained critiques, Hands, 1997, 2001. In particular, the ‘most influential and most self-conscious attempt by a philosopher of science to enlist economics in an effort to salvage scientific rationality and normative epistemology from the threat of relativism and social constructivism’ (Hands, 2001, p.367) can be found in the work of Philip Kitcher (see, for example, Kitcher, 1993), but see Hands, 2001 and Mirowski, 1996 (now ch.5 in Mirowski, 2004) for critical assessment. A brief overview of ‘what might be called an indirect challenge to mainstream-based ESK’, that is, ‘the use of relatively nonmainstream economic ideas in the study of scientific knowledge’ (Hands, 2001, p.382), can be found in Hands, 2001, pp.382-388.

and their drivers (Sent, 1999). In short, what is left out is the specific historical character of science and knowledge production, i.e. the way in which different concrete and historicallydetermined institutional arrangements (and their determinants) favour or impair the use, production, accumulation and diffusion of knowledge, science and technology themselves.

Therefore, neither of these bodies of work fits PROPOSITION 2 of Foray’s definition of the EK.

But, then, if the EK is reduced to PROPOSITION 1, the departure from the core contribution of economists (rooted in the attributes of knowledge as a public, semi-public, or private good) announced by Foray is nowhere to be found. In this sense, Foray’s EK stands reduced to a new bottle for the sour old wine of knowledge as a public good, albeit corrected with insights from David and Dasgupta’s “new economics of science” (1994) and the sociology of scientific knowledge.

1.4.4) Knowledge as aporia55 Interestingly, Foray (2006) himself provides useful pointers as to why knowledge represents an aporia for mainstream economic theory and a neoclassical EK is a contradiction in terms.

Firstly, as discussed above, Foray understands ‘knowledge’ as ‘something more than information’, something which ‘empowers its possessors with the capacity for intellectual or physical action’, in short, ‘cognitive capability’ (Foray, 2006, p.4). In this, Foray follows Steinmueller (2002), for whom it is the failure to operate this distinction that has pushed ‘economics, usually an imperialistic discipline intent on colonising the other social sciences’, to leave treatment and discussion of knowledge to other disciplines. ‘The problem’, for Steinmueller, would be that to incorporate issues relating to knowledge in economics ‘implies abandoning the “representative” firm and individual, introducing a range of distinctly noneconomic variables into the analysis, and rethinking the fundamental assumption that the individual is the appropriate unit of social analysis’ (Steinmueller, 2002, p.146). Indeed, and although neither Foray nor Steinmueller go as far as making the following point, agents in mainstream economic models have very little (if any) agency, given that their behaviour is the outcome of constrained optimisation problems and, therefore, predetermined by the mathematical specification of the model itself. However, this analytical endeavour negates from the onset the very possibility of understanding and incorporating within the mainstream model knowledge as cognition (or cognitive capability). A similar point is argued by Mirowski (2011, p.335), for example, with reference to the ‘asymmetrical’ cognitive status of the agent and ‘the economist/analyst in modern mainstream economic theory’, whereby economists

arrogate for themselves a ‘constitutional capacity’ which they deny to the agent in the model:

Many elements in this section directly call into question endogenous (or new) growth theory, but a proper discussion is delayed till the next section.

‘the ability to survey the rules and institutions imposed by the “model”, to critically engage in self-reflexivity, and to decide whether or not the agent (it?) will accept the terms and conditions dictated by the model’. The outcome of this asymmetry is that ‘the agent is doomed to be a total slave to the model, a cognitive robot, a fixed nonentity rather than a person in process of becoming someone else’, since, ‘by construction, the agent cannot under any circumstances rebel against the scripted role imposed by the economist’.56 Put otherwise, ‘if the economist and the agent were on the same epistemic footing, then the cognitive acceptance by the agent of the model putatively describing their experience would be a necessary precondition for the validity of the model’.57 Secondly, ‘[e]lements of knowledge are heterogenous’ and, therefore, incomparable (Foray, 2006, p.9) and irreducible to a common denominator, standard or homogeneous stock (Boulding, 1966; Metcalfe, 2002, 2010;

Steedman, 2003). Thus, ‘measuring stocks, already difficult in the case of physical capital, becomes an impossible undertaking in the case of knowledge’ (Foray, 2006, p.10) (similarly, Metcalfe, 2002, 2010; Steedman, 2003; and Cowan et al., 2000, on the basis of the distinction between tacit and codified knowledge). However, and although Foray does not make the following point, the full implication of the incomparability of knowledge is that any type of evaluation based on the maximisation of utility would be logically flawed, and the concept of marginal utility meaningless when applied to “additional units” of knowledge. Indeed, acquisition of new knowledge often entails calling into question and redefining old or previous knowledge and beliefs. This significantly undermines the idea that individual preferences are invariant, a prerequisite for the definition of a utility function to be maximised (similarly, Mirowski, 2011, pp. 59, 335). Similarly, if a stock of knowledge cannot be defined, the concept of (increasing or decreasing) marginal product of a stock of knowledge (considered as a factor of production) is meaningless (Steedman, 2003) (see below). At this juncture, lest the reader This contradictory notion of the agent, together with the latter’s asymmetrical status with respect to that of the economist, can be seen as related to, and outcome of, how the conception of the “freedom” of the individual within economic theory has changed throughout time. See Medema, 2009 for an implicit account of how the conception of individual freedom has become mechanically and rigidly (predetermined in the passage from Classical political economy (and Adam Smith’s liberalism) to neoclassical economics. See also Hands, 2010 for an account of how the tension within neoclassical economics between the aspiration to preserve ‘volition (and its associated normative implications)’ and pursue ‘causal science (and the predictive power, explanatory understanding and the epistemic distinction it brings)’ (p.642) has framed the (selective) incorporation (or not) of (specific kinds of) psychology into consumer choice theory. A perfect example of how the coexistence of these (conflicting) aspirations leads to contradiction is readily found in Friedman’s work, where Friedman’s “freedom to choose” (Friedman, Friedman, 1990) cannot be axiomatically predicted, thus standing in contradiction with Friedman’s own methodological stance (Friedman, 1953b), and can only be appended (or brought back in) as an afterthought.

In addition to this, see also Mirowski, 2009b for detailed discussion of ‘the fundamental logical obstacles to equipping the neoclassical agent with a consensus technology to take knowledge on board’ (Mirowski, 2009b, p.134) encountered from within each of the main post-war schools of neoclassical economics according to how it treats (and collapses knowledge into) information (i.e. information as a thing, information as inductive inference, and information processing as computation).

(still) think that the reception of the KBE within economics and the elaboration of an EK represent a welcome move forward beyond the limitations of the mainstream (for their break with the basic theoretical assumptions of the latter), it is extremely important to emphasise how, on the contrary, the two contradictions highlighted above do not deter the mainstream from turning to the issue of knowledge but, rather, are symptomatic and exemplary of the current state and resiliency of the orthodoxy within the discipline. Indeed, after having grown secure in its technical apparatus (organised around utility and production functions) and its technical architecture (organised around equilibrium and efficiency) – or TA2 (Fine, 2011, 2013) – economics has come to perceive itself as ‘a set of techniques and statistical methods of universal applicability’. This self-perception has been the driving force of the extension of the principles of economics both within the discipline and beyond to the subject matter of other disciplines, in ‘thoughtless’ fashion and ‘without regard to the nature of the topic, appropriate methodology, inductive foundations, and continuing traditions’ (Fine, 2011, p.207). Therefore, even if, on the surface, current developments at the margins of the discipline may seem to contradict the standard assumptions and staples of TA2, in practice the latter is never dethroned nor substantively questioned (especially in the teaching of economics itself). In this sense, attention to knowledge within economics through the reception of the KBE concept and aim to develop an EK is exemplary of the state of ‘“suspension”’ (Fine, 2011, p.207) in which the discipline thrives, implying its capability to ‘both’ float ‘free of its origins and core material whilst remaining irrevocably attached to them’, to ‘go anywhere’ without ever departing (p.208).58 Thirdly, ‘[k]nowledge is largely unobservable’, especially when tacit: indeed, the ‘most distinctive feature of tacit knowledge is its incorporation in thoughts and deeds, and its invisibility, even for those who possess it and use it “automatically”’. Thus, ‘[k]nowledge appears only when it is expressed and written and when it becomes possible to attach a property right to it. Yet tacit knowledge is constantly being reconstituted, so that a vast world remains perpetually invisible’ (Foray, 2006, p.9). But, if knowledge is in large part tacit, contextual (i.e. localised in institutions and routines, produced and reproduced for specific purposes) and weakly persistent (i.e. people forget), and if its acquisition and reproduction are in large part the outcome of processes of learning-by-doing (Foray, 2006), then the restructuring of labour markets which has characterised advanced economies since the 1970s, together with the attendant increasing flexibilisation and casualisation of labour relations, should also be seen as having caused a great deal of “de-knowledgeing”, that is, processes The concept of suspension will be taken up again and in more detail in the second chapter, where it will inform the interpretation of Italian post-workerist Marxism peculiar to this thesis (but see also footnote 78).

whereby firms are “deskilled” through ‘hollowing out of skills and knowledge by outsourcing, loss of key skills and loss of corporate memory’ through donwsizing (Littler, Innes, 2003, p.76), whether empirically valid or not.59 This is also recognised by Foray, for whom ‘[i]nternal labor markets... are approaching a state of crisis in which increasing externalization, turnover, and mobility are making traditional methods of knowledge management... ever more uncertain’ (Foray, 2006, p.84). But, then, investigation of the conditions of production and reproduction of knowledge should include consideration of whether the current material organisation of production is actually conducive to the production and accumulation of knowledge, especially since Foray’s definition of the field of analysis of the EK explicitly calls into question the historical and institutional conditions of knowledge production, see PROPOSITION 2 in subsection 1.4.3 above. However, this would inevitably require shifting attention to the systemic properties of markets and the current material organisation, functioning and embedding of production and labour processes.

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 11 | 12 || 14 | 15 |   ...   | 43 |

Similar works:

«DOCUMENT RESUME ED 467 541 RC 023 666 Hezel, Francis X.AUTHOR TITLE Taking Responsibility for Our Schools: A Series of Four Articles on Education in Micronesia. INSTITUTION Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, Honolulu, HI. Region XV Comprehensive Assistance Center. SPONS AGENCY Department of Education, Washington, DC. 2002-06-00 PUB DATE NOTE 49p.; Introduction by Hilda C. Heine. CONTRACT S283A950001 PUB TYPE Opinion Papers (120) Reports Descriptive (141) EDRS PRICE EDRS Price...»

«Outline The Hausdorff metric. Hutchinson’s theorem. Affine examples Hausdorff dimension. Similarity dimension of contracting r Lecture 10 The Hausdorff metric. Hutchinson’s theorem. Fractal images Similarity dimension and Hausdorff dimension. Shlomo Sternberg Shlomo Sternberg Lecture 10 The Hausdorff metric. Hutchinson’s theorem. Fractal images Similarity dimension and Hausdorff dimension. Outline The Hausdorff metric. Hutchinson’s theorem. Affine examples Hausdorff dimension....»

«Mister slaughter Mister slaughter RobeRt  MccaMMon  Subterranean Press 2010 Mister Slaughter Copyright © 2010 by The McCammon Corporation. All rights reserved. Dust jacket and interior illustrations Copyright © 2010 by Vincent Chong. All rights reserved. Interior design Copyright © 2010 by Desert Isle Design, LLC. All rights reserved. First Edition Limited Edition ISBN 978-1-59606-277-1 Trade Edition ISBN 978-1-59606-276-4 Subterranean Press PO Box 190106 Burton, MI 48519...»

«FUN WITH DUTCH OVENS By Gary Yerkes FUN WITH DUTCH OVENS By Gary A. Yerkes This book is dedicated to my loving wife who asked me to type up that first recipe and who has supported me throughout the assembly of this book. Copyright © 1996 Gary Yerkes All Rights Reserved First Printing: August, 1996 Second Printing: September, 1996 TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION REFERENCES AND THANKS SOME HISTORY OF THE DUTCH OVEN SELECTING A DUTCH OVEN ACCESSORIES AND EQUIPMENT OVEN SEASONING...»

«LOOKING OUT FOR NUMBER 1 ‘‘A rational man never leaves his interests at the From Where You Are To Where You mercy of any one person or single client. He may Want To Be need clients, but not any one particular client. He By Robert Ringer may need customers, but not any one particular customer. He may need a job, but not any one Theories, Obstacles and Signals particular job.’’ -Ayn Rand Looking Out For Number One Weight-And Balance Happiness Scale Theory Everyone has a built-in computer...»

«Guiding Principles for the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure Guiding Principles for the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure 2 Guiding Principles for the Nation’s Critical Infrastructure Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Guiding principles for the nation’s critical infrastructure / prepared by the ASCE Critical Infrastructure Guidance Task Committee. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-7844-1063-9 1. Construction...»

«West Midlands Domestic Violence & Abuse Standards September 2015 Preventing Violence against Vulnerable People in the West Midlands Contents Foreword 3 Introduction 3 Purpose 4 Definition 5 Understanding domestic violence & abuse 5-6 Domestic violence and children 6 Which services do these standards apply to? 7 Statement of Principles 8 West Midlands Domestic Violence & Abuse Standards 9 Standard 1: Organisations address domestic violence & abuse within their policies 9 Standard 2:...»

«MEDIA KIT TABLE OF CONTENTS A) Backgrounder..3 i) About the Caledon Equestrian Park..3 ii) About the Town of Caledon..3 iii) About the TORONTO 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games.3 iv) About the Caledon Equestrian Park improvements.4 B) FAQ...8 C) News Releases...9 Pan Am facility “best ever”: Ian Millar Interview..9 i) ii) TO2015 launches volunteer search..10 iii) Pachi visits Caledon March Break camps..12 iv) Next phase launches at Caledon Equestrian Park.13 v) Town of Caledon celebrates...»

«THE ILLUMINATING QUALITY: IMAGERY AND THEME IN THE SECRET AGENT A S ONE reads The Secret Agent h e is aware of the fact that its tone is provided by an atmosphere of sinister darkness which is penetrated spasnlodically by the blood-red glare of gaslight. The object of this study is to make a systematic analysis of this imagery, indicating how it arose from Conrad's inspiration for the novel; how it aids in the presentation of character and theme; and how it serves as a device for furthering the...»

«Longwood School Independent School Inspection report DCSF Registration Number 919/6236 Unique Reference Number 117662 URN for registered childcare 280421 Inspection number 332453 Inspection dates 20–21 January 2009 Reporting inspector Marianick Ellender-Gelé HMI This inspection of the school was carried out under section 162A of the Education Act 2002, as amended. The inspection of childcare was conducted under Section 49(2) of the Childcare Act 2006. For use from September 2008 This...»

«7 STARTLING FACTS: An Up Close Look at Church Attendance in America By Rebecca Barnes and Lindy Lowery 1. Less than 20% of Americans regularly attend church — half of what the pollsters report. While Gallup polls and other statisticians have turned in the same percentage — about 40% of the population — of average weekend church attendees for the past 70 years, a different sort of research paints quite a disparate picture of how many Americans attend a local church on any given Sunday....»

«ADOPTED BY: Annual General Assembly of Shareholders Of JSC Solikamsk Magnesium Works Date of General Assembly od Shareholders 28 June 2016 Protocol №2 of 01 July 2016 Provisionally Approved by: The Board of Directors Of JSC Solikamsk Magnesium Works Protocol № 5 of «20 » May 2016 JOINT-STOCK COMPANY SOLIKAMSK MAGNESIUM WORKS ANNUAL REPORT 2015 General Director Dmitriy L. Melnikov (signature) Solikamsk 2016 Page TABLE OF CONTENT LETTER TO SHAREHOLDERS 2 MISSION 3 GENERAL COMPANY’S...»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.