Category Archives: Frank Wilczek

A Greg Mankiw Blog


Our concern, as always, is to understand and verify how money should circulate to meet the rectilinear primary process of production and sale.  We seek a normative theory which scientifically explains, rather than merely describes, the current, purely dynamic economic process.  The scientific explanation will be in the form of the objective relations of explanatory velocities and accelerations to one another.  These explanatory conjugates will be abstract correlations defined by their functional relations among themselves – rather than descriptions – no matter how literary and vivid –  of conditions, states, and events as they are related to us and affect us for better or worse.  Our goal is to achieve a scientific explanation yielding norms to which we must adapt. (Continue reading)

A System is Developed: The Achievements of Euclid, Newton, Einstein, Mendeleev, and Lonergan

Lonergan’s achievement – like the achievements of Euclid, Newton, and Einsteinwas “to bring together many scattered theorems by setting up a unitary basis that would handle all of them and a great number of others as well.”  Note in the excerpts below these phrases

  • a field of greater generality
  • an enlarged and radically different field
  • scientific generalization
  • (analytical) level of system
  • organized system
  • one single organized subject
  • a determinate systematic structure
  • a determinate field
  • a single explanatory unity
  • ultimate premises
  • the stability of the sets and patterns of dynamic relationships


Generalization comes with Newton, who attacked the general theory of motion, laid down its pure theory, identified Kepler’s and Galileo’s laws by inventing the calculus, and so found himself in a position to account for any corporeal motion known.  Aristotle, Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galilei, and Kepler had all been busy with particular classes of moving bodies.  Newton dealt in the same way with all.  He did so by turning to a field of greater generality, the laws of motion, and by finding a deeper unity in the apparent disparateness of Kepler’s ellipse and Galilei’s time squared. … Similarly the non-Euclidean geometers and Einstein went beyond Euclid and Newton. … The non-Euclideans moved geometry back to premises more remote than Euclid’s axioms, they developed methods of their own quite unlike Euclid’s, and though they did not impugn Euclid’s theorems, neither were they very interested in them; casually and incidentally they turn them up as particular cases in an enlarged and radically different field. … Einstein went beyond Newton by employing the new geometries to make time an independent variable; and as Newton transformed the formulation and interpretation of Kepler’s laws, so Einstein transforms the Newtonian laws of motion. … It is, we believe, a scientific generalization of the old political economy and of modern economics that will yield the new political economy which we need. … Plainly the way out is through a more general field. [CWL 21, 6-7] Continue reading

Frank Wilczek’s “We’re All Still Living in Euclid’s World”

The Weekend Wall Street Journal,  2/5-6/2022, featured Frank Wilczek’s (MIT) column entitled “We’re All Still Living in Euclid’s World.”  The article prompts further thinking about how space, space-time, and generalized coordinates underly Bernard Lonergan’s pretio-quantital Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics, AKA Macroeconomic Field Theory. (continue reading)