All the Concepts Tumble Out Together [Brief Item #76]

[2/12/20] (In) every basic insight there is a circle of terms and relations, such that the terms fix the relations, the relations fix the terms, and the insight fixes both.  If one grasps the necessary and sufficient conditions for the perfect roundness of this imagined plane curve, then one grasps not only the circle but also the point, the line, the circumference, the radii, the plane, and equality.  All the concepts tumble out together, because all are needed to express adequately a single insight.  All are coherent, for coherence basically means that all hang together from a single insight.  [CWL 3, 12/36]

… it will be well at once to draw attention to J.A. Schumpeter’s insistence on the merits of the diagram as a tool. (Schumpeter, History 240-43, on the Cantillon-Quesnay tableau.) … First, there is the tremendous simplification it effects.  From millions of exchanges one advances to precise aggregates, relatively few in number, and hence easy to follow up and handle. … Francois Quesnay’s tableau economique. … was the first to make explicit the concept of economic equilibrium.  All science begins from particular correlations, but the key discovery is the interdependence of the whole. … the diagram (of the interconnections of a few precise aggregates) has compensating features that Quesnay’s system of simultaneous equations may imply but does not manifest. [CWL 15, 53 and 177]









To understand how the system of interdependent monetary circulations meets the system of production and exchange is to understand how the economy works.  It is to grasp all the production and monetary concepts together in a single coherent set of relations.  It is to see all the dynamic interactions of the current dynamic process in a single view, or better, to understand explanatory macroeconomics in a single comprehensive act of understanding. “All science begins from particular correlations, but the key discovery is the interdependence of the whole.”

… once initial difficulties are overcome and basic insights are reached, the investigation approaches a supreme moment when all data suddenly fall into a single perspective, …. [CWL 3, 47/71]

More positively, the channels account for booms and slumps, for inflation and deflation, for changed rates of profit, for the attraction found in a favorable balance of trade, the relief given by deficit spending, … [CWL 15, 17] [#76] (Click here for previous “Single Paragraphs” or “Brief Items”)


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