12/03/2019

The best critiques are from within

"You would think that the best way to criticize a field of science would be from the outside. After all, those within the field may be blinded by the prevailing orthodoxy, and thus be unable to see the weaknesses in the mainstream models.

Actually, the opposite is true. There are lots of excellent heterodox critiques of economics, but almost all are provided by economists. I presume this is true of other fields as well. If a problem were obvious enough to be spotted by outsiders, chances are it would already be the subject of dispute within the field. An anthropologist named David Graeber provides an excellent example of what goes wrong when you don’t understand the field you are criticizing."