Monday, August 9, 2010

Work on value in my economics 'grimoire'

Short story: working a LOT and finding that seven months go by between blog posts of substance. There are a number of reasons, but honestly the main reason is slackness and low motivation to go online in the little spare time I had after work and before bed. As to work, my employer, Cognis, was also bought out by BASF, though the transfer won’t be complete until November. What happens to our site after that remains to be seen. It could be anything from a total shutdown to a large expansion, since we are a site that was already tiny by Cognis standards and is much tinier still by BASF standards. Time will tell.

Anyway, I’ve sorted out my response to the subjective-value criticism. Rather than go into a big song and dance here, and because most blogreaders presently don’t have the context for the criticism of my position anyway, I’ll just post relevant parts of the two offending chapters of my economics grimoire and note that the full response was included mostly as a new section in the later of those chapters and that the rest was included in a big edit of both chapters.

What follows is most of chapters 3 and 4 from Book 1, though I’ve left out material not relevant to the criticism of my position regarding subjective values. As an administrative note, I am posting these chapters section by section as individual posts because of their size, and reverse order so that they flow in proper order from top to bottom when viewed by the reader for the publication date. I am also well aware that much academic work needs to be done, and that there is probably way too much internal cross-referencing, but I’ll take care of all that over the course of time. My motive for writing it is primarily my own edification, and amongst other reasons I am retaining the heavy quantity of cross-referencing because in Word they are hyperlinks so I can flip back and forth between elements with ease. Thus, bluntly, you get what you get with no apologies! And, no, you’re not getting the other chapters – not yet and not without paying for them, that is.

Chapter 3 – Life, action, value

Chapter 4 - Man

I also know that the material is probably too advanced for being in Book 1 (see below), and in time I will break it up and put the heavier material into Book 2. For now it is just important to present the material as it is, in draft form, for the sake of finally making good on what I said I’d do.

As to the whole of my grimoire, it is an enormous work-in-progress. I envision it as composed of three volumes each with varying numbers of books. The set together is to be known as “Objective Economics.” Volume 1 is Economics Proper, and covers core economic theory. Volume 2 is Political-Economy, and covers a variety of sociopolitical issues for capitalism and economics. Volume 3 is Economic Jurisprudence, and after detailing my proposed model Constitutions and commentary, it also proposes and comments upon model laws for various economic purposes (eg Real Property Law, IP Law, Contract Law, Partnership Law, Corporations Law, etc). It is highly unlikely that I will ever finish all this by myself, and so if I get further in the project I intend to have co-writers.

Volume 1 in particular currently has four books planned. Book 1 is “Positive Economics A” and covers the fundamentals that an intelligent 18yo first-year econ student should be expected to master by the end of that first year. Book 2 is “Positive Economics B” and is a more detailed analysis of topics introduced in A, and suited for second-year econ students and also any others who, after digesting A, are interested in more detail. Book 3 (title not finalised) is both the history of economic theory and also the analysis and criticism of others’ works in economics. Book 4 (working title “Normative Economics”) is envisaged as an outline of how various people can use economic learning to interact with the economy and other aspects of society to their personal benefit. For this volume I will be writing Books 1 and 2, I’d contribute to Book 3 while this is probably going to be the first work where a co-writer would take the lead, and I’d probably write most of Book 4’s content while also having co-writers as contributors.

Moreover, although all students must start with book 1 first, some students can then follow books 2 and 3 while ignoring 4 and others could go straight from 1 to 4, all depending on personal preference or academic track. I imagine that actual Economics students will do the former and other students with a heavy academic interest in economics (eg Business students and Finance students) will do the latter. Also, philosophy and social science students could probably focus on book 1 and then skip straight to 3, concentrating on only elements of the latter that are relevant to their fields before tackling Volume 2 as their priority.

Anyway, enjoy!


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