Thursday, 19 August 2010

Shute's new book, Lonergan's Discovery of the Science of Economics

The University of Toronto Press has sent me Michael Shute's Lonergan's Discovery of the Science of Economics (2010) for review. It could not have come at a better time, when we are preparing for McShane's Workshop on Economics here at Divyadaan. 

Shute divides up his potential audience into economists, all other academics, and Lonergan scholars. He writes primarily for Lonergan scholars with the hope of interesting them in Lonergan’s economics. [17-19] He succeeds admirably in his task. I want to say without mincing words: this is the best introduction to Lonergan’s economics that I have ever found - though that 'I' has to be qualified by presumed inclusion in Shute's third group. 

But that again must be modified somewhat, because I happen to come to Shute’s book after a more than cursory reading of DJPE 21/2, and perhaps that reading has its own contribution to the fact that I find Shute’s book so readily intelligible. In fact, Shute himself remarks acutely: attempted introductions to Lonergan’s economics are simply far too complex. Their problem is that they follow too closely Lonergan’s own dense presentations and ordering of topics. What is needed is to explain one business at a time. [16.] But that is precisely what DJPE 21/2 does; and, I must add, Shute’s essay in that volume stands out as a model of approachability. 

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