Uncertainty In Economics By G. L. Shackle Critical Analysis

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Uncertainty in Economics and Other Reflections (1955) by G.L.S. Shackle (Cambridge: University Press). The book is divided into eighteen sections written between 1939 and 1953, each of which consists of a journal article. Among these sections, nine refer to the notions of expectation and uncertainty – main points of concentration of the present critical review – two are focused on interest rate, four on investment and unemployment, and the three remaining ones on a philosophy of economics. Initially, Shackle makes it clear that his account is to be distinguished from the “orthodoxy” in view of his altogether rejection of the notion of the perfect knowledge. “This assumption of perfect knowledge is gravely unrealistic” (p.17). He contends that …show more content…
That same reason can be accounted for the periodical unsmooth transition from one section to the other; a factor which, in turn, makes the text partly unapproachable and more complicated to the average reader of the field. In this respect, the latter is recommended to disregard similar minor deficiencies and look into the book’s content even more attentively so as to discover its richness. Many insights have not lost their freshness and still remain fundamentally important in our days, i.e. more than sixty years from the book’s initial publication. The industrious reader of his writings shall probably not find incomprehensible the reason why Nassim Nikolas Taleb characterized Shackle as one of the greatest and most underrated thinkers. One can discern originality, provocative spirit and an awakening-alerting effect. Said author does not allow himself to become self-congratulatory for simply passing critique on other approaches but upon tracing the other’s lacunae he moves on to suggest alternatives. The contemporary reader, an economist in particular, is recommended to deal more attentively with his writings. Delving into his work, one would perhaps be tempted to wonder why it is that economists have not embraced a thinking logic such as his, which, by all means, seems incomparably more realistic now days than the respective one of the so-called orthodox economic theory. That being said, one would perhaps need to equally recognize that the majority of social experts, just like optimistic and pleasant theories. These very needs ordain a turning away from a reality filled with “negative” effects, fears and

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