Reflections of Eminent Economists
Show Less

Reflections of Eminent Economists

Edited by Michael Szenberg and Lall Ramrattan

In this collection of autobiographical essays, 26 prominent scholars detail their professional development, while offering insight into their lives and philosophies. With candor and humor they relate how they came to the field of economics, as well as how their views have evolved over the years.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 17: Trains of Thought

Harry M. Markowitz


* Harry M. Markowitz My essay will be concerned principally with some philosophical views I have held for much of my life. After recounting the sources (for me) and the nature of these views, I will conclude with some brief personal reflections. These philosophical views are on a few related topics. My views on any one topic did not spring instantly to mind, but were the results of a train of thought to which I would return many times over weeks, months and years. It was also important to me that the train of thought on one topic did not contradict that on another. WHAT DO WE KNOW? The first topic to occupy me, among those reviewed here, concerned what do we know and how do we know it. Until I was 13 or 14 I read comic books and The Shadow mystery magazines, then I read (I cannot remember why) Darwin’s Origin of Species. I was especially fascinated with how Darwin marshalled his facts, argued his case and considered possible objections. Subsequently I read popular accounts of physics and astronomy, from the high-school library, and original accounts by philosophers, purchased from wonderful big, old, musty used-book stores then in downtown Chicago. The philosopher who impressed me most, who became ‘my’ philosopher, was David Hume. He argued that even though we release a ball a thousand times and each time it falls to the floor, we are not thereby provided proof with certainty that the ball will drop when released a...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.