Beyond Keynes, Volume One
Edited by Shelia C. Dow and John Hillard
Chapter 7: Organicism, uncertainty and 'societal interactionism': a Derridean perspective
7. Organicism, uncertainty and ‘societal interactionism’: a Derridean perspective Man-Seop Park and Serap Kayatekin Everything is what it is, and not another thing. (G.E. Moore) The outside X the inside (J. Derrida) is I INTRODUCTION An increasing number of authors have recently argued that Keynes’s conception of economics as a ‘moral science’ is based on his conception that the (economic) universe is an organic complex, as contrasted with a plain sum of what Keynes called ‘legal atoms’ (Brown-Collier, 1985; Carabelli, 1985, Lawson, 1985; Winslow, 1986, 1989). Part of the signiﬁcance of this recent discussion is, as is argued by Hamouda and Smithin (1988), Rotheim (1988, 1995) and Winslow (1989), among others, that the notion of the universe as an organic unity provides strong support for the notion of fundamental uncertainty, which is a crucial notion for many Post Keynesian economists (for example, Davidson, 1978, 1996b; Lawson, 1985, 1994b). There are some (notably, Coddington, 1983) who consider fundamental uncertainty as implying nihilism for economic theorizing; however, according to those authors mentioned above, the notion of fundamental uncertainty is fully compatible with economic analysis once the (economic) universe is considered as organically interdependent. This chapter notes two particular features arising from this recent discussion. First, there are a variety of interpretations of precisely what kind of notion of organic unity Keynes holds. Davis (1989/90, 1994) is of the opinion that Keynes’s notion is the same as that of Moore as advanced in Principia Ethica (but its application is restricted in the...
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