Knowledge And Decisions

Front Cover
Basic Books, 1980 - Business & Economics - 422 pages
7 Reviews
With a new preface by the author, this reissue of Thomas Sowell's classic study of decision making updates his seminal work in the context of The Vision of the Annointed, Sowell, one of America's most celebrated public intellectuals, describes in concrete detail how knowledge is shared and disseminated throughout modern society. He warns that society suffers from an ever-widening gap between firsthand knowledge and decision making—a gap that threatens not only our economic and political efficiency, but our very freedom because actual knowledge gets replaced by assumptions based on an abstract and elitist social vision f what ought to be.Knowledge and Decisions, a winner of the 1980 Law and Economics Center Prize, was heralded as a ”landmark work” and selected for this prize ”because of its cogent contribution to our understanding of the differences between the market process and the process of government.” In announcing the award, the center acclaimed Sowell, whose ”contribution to our understanding of the process of regulation alone would make the book important, but in reemphasizing the diversity and efficiency that the market makes possible, [his] work goes deeper and becomes even more significant.”
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - neurodrew - LibraryThing

This book appeared on a list of 100 influential science books for the millenium, published in The American Scientist. Sowell is an economist, and from some other mentions of his name, is very ... Read full review

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Sowell, one of America’s most celebrated public intellectuals, describes in concrete detail how knowledge is shared and disseminated throughout modern society. He warns that society suffers from an ever-widening gap between firsthand knowledge and decision making—a gap that threatens not only our economic and political efficiency, but our very freedom because actual knowledge gets replaced by assumptions based on an abstract and elitist social vision of what ought to be. Knowledge and Decisions, a winner of the 1980 Law and Economics Center Prize, was heralded as a ”landmark work” and selected for this prize ”because of its cogent contribution to our understanding of the differences between the market process and the process of government.” In announcing the award, the center acclaimed Sowell, whose ”contribution to our understanding of the process of regulation alone would make the book important, but in reemphasizing the diversity and efficiency that the market makes possible, [his] work goes deeper and becomes even more significant.”
This is truly a great work, and I enjoy learning from Professor Sowell's insight
 

Contents

The Role of Knowledge
3
DecisionMaking Processes
21
Economic TradeOffs
45
Social TradeOffs
81
Political TradeOffs
114
An Overview
150
TRENDS AND ISSUES
161
Historical Trends
163
Trends in Economics
167
Trends in Law
229
Trends in Politics
305
Notes
384
Index
412
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About the author (1980)

Thomas Sowell has taught economics at a number of colleges and universities, including Cornell, University of California Los Angeles, and Amherst. He has published both scholarly and popular articles and books on economics, and is currently a scholar in residence at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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