Elgar original reference
Edited by Philip Arestis and Malcolm Sawyer
Many economists like to think of their discipline as a science where progress is made through the advancing of new theories and the careful empirical evaluation of such theories. Despite the criticism which this approach has received from philosophers of science, there is a strong belief amongst many economists that the central criterion of the adequacy of a theory is its predictive accuracy; the realism of its assumptions is not seen as an important issue and is thus ignored. Further, any economic analysis which does not provide predictions, even if it supplies explanations and insights, is dismissed. The economists who hold these views see themselves as ideologically neutral observers; as such the personalities, social backgrounds and political beliefs of their colleagues in the discipline are of little interest. Further, the economic system is viewed as harmonious with no essential conﬂicts between social classes. The starting point of this dictionary is quite different. It is ﬁrmly based on the view that economics is not a neutral science, practised without thought being given to its social and political effects. Indeed, many economists have explored this avenue in their work. Naturally, knowledge of their work and their lives is not as readily available as comparable knowledge about orthodox economists. This is precisely why we were persuaded that a dictionary of this kind may not only be welcome but long overdue. Consequently, for the ﬁrst edition of this Biographical Dictionary we decided to emphasize two aspects. The ﬁrst was to allow dissenters to...