Sunday, February 28, 2010

Things are more complicated than economists would lead us to believe

“The way people think about things is appropriate or not depending on the nature of the things in question; the way people think about people, themselves, is part of the reality about which they are trying to think in appropriate ways. The concepts which we employ to grasp what we are become part of what we are; or rather that we use them in this way becomes part of what we are. Thus in social theory we are using concepts to understand beings who define themselves by means of their use of concepts, in some cases the concept that we are using in trying to understand them. So to construct a theory and to propagate it is to afford people a new means of self-comprehension; to give the theory currency may well change the very behavior which the theory attempts to describe. Hence social theories can play a role in their own verification and falsification.” -Alasdair MacIntyre "A Mistake about Causation in Social Science" (1958)

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