Econ-art: divorcing art from science in modern economics

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Pluto Press, 1999 - Art - 256 pages
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Historians of economic thought have long recognized the possibility that the "science" of economics owes more to cultural influences than we are usually prepare to admit. Econ Art offers the first detailed study of this contradiction, highlighting the cultural and aesthetic influences of surrealism, cubism and abstract art on both economic theory and method in the twentieth century.Arguing that economics has developed more as an art form than as a science, the author looks not only at what economists have produced but how they have produced it, uncovering the cultural preconceptions which have shaped economic theory and method in the last one hundred years. At a time of increasing dissatisfaction with the discipline and the practice of economics, Szostak argues that the time is now ripe —- and right —- to embarrass the profession into a whole-sale reconsideration of what economics is for, how it should be done and what might make it better and more useful to the academy and to the world at large.

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Chapter Two Surrealism
Chapter Three Cubism and More
Chapter Four Mathematics as Art

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About the author (1999)

Rick Szostak is Professor of Economics (and Acting Director of the Science Technology and Society program) at the University of Alberta, where he has taught since gaining his PhD from Northwestern University in 1985. He is the author of 9 books and 30 articles, all interdisciplinary in nature. Many of these publications address how to best perform interdisciplinary research, teaching, or administration. He created and teaches two courses about how to do interdisciplinary research. He also teaches courses on economic growth, economic history, and STS. During a term as Associate Dean, he created the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies (which administers eight programs and stand-alone courses about interdisciplinarity), the STS program, and an Individualized Major. He has served on the Board of the Association for Integrative Studies for several years.

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