Implications for Economic Policy
Edited by John Finch and Magali Orillard
Chapter 3: Complexity Needs Strategy First Rather than Simplification: Why I am a Satisficing and Unrepentant Simonian
3. Complexity needs strategy first rather than simplification. Why I am a satisficing and unrepentant Simonian Jean-Louis Le Moigne Science seeks parsimony, not simplicity: searching for patterns in phenomena. (Simon 2001)1 INTRODUCTION We must now re-think the distinction between ‘fundamental search’ and ‘ﬁnalized search’. The different areas of knowledge cannot be developed ‘out of context’: they maintain a close relationship with know-how, means of production, places and multiple interests which contribute to shape them and direct their development which thus result from the crossing between various production logics and the appropriation of knowledge whose instrumental logics are part of. This observation was recently expressed by one of the big European research centres (the French CNRS2) and may be accepted generally by economists who are careful not to separate economic science, considered as fundamental, from political economy, considered as ﬁnalized or applied. The logic of the production and the appropriation of knowledge formed and transformed by one another are more and more interlaced. When they are not interlaced enough or as yet, everyone admits that this gap is regrettable and must be ﬁlled as soon as possible. In this chapter, I address the themes of ‘complexity and political economy: implications for economic science’ and of ‘complexity and economic science: implications for political economy.’ In economics as in other ﬁelds, the procedure of research is led intentionally and deliberately to insert the acceptance of its own paradigmatic or core questions on the grounds of action, and it follows the feedback effects...
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