"Truth cannot be out there—cannot exist independently of the human mind—because sentences cannot so exist, or be out there. The world is out there, but descriptions of the world are not. Only descriptions of the world can be true or false. The world on its own—unaided by the describing activities of humans—cannot."
- Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (1989)

(Source: poeticsofdeath)

Rorty Pragmatism Truth Epistemology Postmodernism Postmodern Philosophy

"

The traditional philosophical project, that of establishing criteria for the true and the good, has always been subject to metaphilosophical criticism, but recently such criticism constitutes one of the dominant themes in what has come to be called the postmodern era. … Richard Rorty, the current leader of the metaphilosophical attack, believes that the traditional search for cognitive and ethical foundations is forlorn, or as he puts it in pragmatist terms, “has not paid off”. … There is no “Archimedean point” from which we can compare our views of the world to the world itself, no way to step out of our culturally limited perspective to see how things really are in themselves. Hence our conceptual schemes, our sciences, our rationalities, and our ethical beliefs all lack the absolute, objective grounding that the traditional philosophical project hoped to provide. Our choice among them becomes a matter of their relative utility for the purposes at hand, not a matter of discovering which of them reflects a true picture of the world.

Rorty is not new in this anti-foundationalism; in fact he claims merely to be the most recent exponent of a long anti-metaphysical, pragmatist tradition including James, Nietzche, Dewey, Wittgenstein, and later Foucault, Quine, Kuhn, Sellars, Davidson, and Derrida. … The common thread of this tradition is the attempt to cure us of our thirst for metaphysical essences and timeless certainties, to show how the secular fascination with the possibility of ahistorical absolutes simply repeats the religious quest for theological sanctuary. The mistaken impulse is the same: to seek a safe haven from the contingency and relativity of our lot in life, to contrive an escape, albeit only intellectual, from the messy if occasionally pleasurable business of getting by in the world. To suppose we might gain some absolute philosophical distance from our situation and thereby achieve an objective point of leverage is as deluded, these philosophers warn, as a belief in the Rapture or the Second Coming. … Freed from the futile attempt to transcend the perspective imposed upon us by being the limited creatures we are, philosophy becomes simply the historically contingent, most up-to-date effort to see generally “how things hang together”. Liberation from philosophy, at least as it has been traditionally conceived, is the logical next step for the culture that has presided over the death of God.

"
- Thomas W. Clark, Humanism and Postmodernism: A Reconciliation (via ludimagister)

Thomson Reuters Nobel Prize Predictions for Economics

ECONOMIC SCIENCES
Philippe M. Aghion 
Robert C. Waggoner Professor of Economics, Harvard University
Cambridge, MA USA

-and-

Peter W. Howitt
Lyn Crost Professor Emeritus of Social Sciences and Professor Emeritus of Economics, Brown University
Providence, RI USA

For contributions to Schumpeterian growth theory

William J. Baumol
Professor of Economics and Harold Price Professor of Entrepreneurship, New York University
New York, NY USA

-and-

Israel M. Kirzner
Emeritus Professor of Economics, New York University
New York, NY USA

For their advancement of the study of entrepreneurism

Mark S. Granovetter
Joan Butler Ford Professor and Chair of Sociology, and Joan Butler Ford Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University
Stanford, CA USA

For his pioneering research in economic sociology

Yes! Israel Kirzner considered for the Nobel Prize. (H/T Peter Boettke)

Israel Kirzner Economics Austrian Economics Entrepeneurship Entrepeneur Nobel Prize Mises Hayek

From a new Mercatus paper on a survey of 200 small banks:


Compliance costs. Small banks are spending more on compliance in the wake of Dodd-Frank. The median number of compliance staff for the banks in our survey increased from one to two, and more than a quarter of respondents plan to add another compliance person. More than eighty percent of respondents saw their compliance costs rise by more than five percent since 2010.

From a new Mercatus paper on a survey of 200 small banks:

Compliance costs. Small banks are spending more on compliance in the wake of Dodd-Frank. The median number of compliance staff for the banks in our survey increased from one to two, and more than a quarter of respondents plan to add another compliance person. More than eighty percent of respondents saw their compliance costs rise by more than five percent since 2010.

Dodd-Frank Banking Regulation Financial Crisis Finance Economics Politics Political Economy Libertarian

Foreign Intervention: A Case for Humility (Or, why I am a peacemonger) - Coordination Problem

Chris Coyne quoting Bradley Harper:

Charges of pacifism are likely to be hurled at anyone who in these troubled times raises any question about the race into war. If pacifism means embracing the objective of peace, I am willing to accept the charge. If it means opposing all aggression against others, I am willing to accept that charge also. It is now urgent in the interest of liberty that many persons become “peacemongers.”

Peace Foreign Policy Foreign Intervention War Libertarian Bradley Harper Non-Interventionism Poltics

"We have plucked from the Tree a second apple which has for ever imperiled our knowledge and Good and Evil, and we must learn to know these qualities henceforth in the blinding light of our new analytical powers. Humanity has been deprived a second time of its innocence, and driven out of another garden which was, at any rate, a Fool’s Paradise. Innocently, we had trusted that we could be relieved of all personal responsibility for our beliefs by objective criteria of validity, and our own own critical powers have shattered this hope."
- Michael Polanyi

Michael Polyani Postmodernism Postmodern Philosophy

"See the exquisite contrast of the types of mind! The pragmatist clings to facts and concreteness, observes truth at its work in particular cases, and generalizes. Truth, for him, becomes a class-name for all sorts of definite working-values in experience. For the rationalist, it remains a pure abstraction, to the bare name of which we must defer. When the pragmatist undertakes to show in detail why we must defer, the rationalist is unable to recognize the concretes from which his own abstraction is taken. He accuses us of denying truth; whereas we have only sought to trace exactly why people follow it and always ought to follow it."
- William James, Pragmatism

William James Pragmatism James Truth Philosophy


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