Sunday, December 20, 2015

Joan Robinson and the Elephant.


[A]

Joan Robinson knows one when she sees one:
"I cannot define an elephant but I know one when I see it. An ideology is much more like an elephant than like a point." (Robinson 1962:8)
"Scientific method is another kind of elephant -- something which exists and can be described, not defined." (p. 25)
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“So, oft in theologic wars
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!”
(John Godfrey Saxe.“The Blind Men and the Elephant”. 1872)
Saxe's poem appeared 90 years before Robinson's attempt at the philosophy of science and history of economic thought.

Someone less skeptical would be tempted to consider this as evidence of precognition.


Reference

Robinson, J. (1962). Economic philosophy. Chicago: Aldine Pub. Co.


Image Credits:
[A] "Illustrated Proverb: Blind men and the Elephant". Author: Pawyi Lee. Image in the public domain. Source: Wikipedia.

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