Category Archives: Implicit Definition

The Einsteinian Context: Curvature and Relativity

Albert Einstein, Steven Weinberg, Lillian Lieber, Douglas Giancoli, Raymond A. Serway, Bernard Lonergan, Philip McShane, Peter Burley,

.1. Introductory

Graduate students seeking a thesis topic may expand this treatment of the Einsteinian context of Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics.  It should be of special interest to those having a strong background in theoretical physics and, thus, able to appreciate the analogies from physics.  “Similars are similarly understood.” (CWL 3, 288/313)

Philip McShane alerted us to the resemblances between Lonergan’s context of general macroeconomic dynamics and Einstein’s context of general relativity.

(Part Two entitled Fragments) belongs almost entirely in what I call the Einsteinian context of Part Three, in contrast to the Newtonian achievement of Part One; … [CWL 21, Index, 325]

A new science has emerged.  Lonergan has elevated conventional macrostatics to a macrodynamics explaining economic accelerations. (Continue reading)

The Notion of Organic Unity; Macroeconomic Field theory as a Unified, Systematic Whole

.1. Introduction

Lonergan’s treatment of the intelligibility of the plane circle provides to us a clue.  In the basic insight defining the plane circle, – that all radii are equal – all the interrelated concepts tumble out together in an intelligible unity.  The all-together intelligibility points to a template for explanation in the macroeconomic field; it fore-casts a singular unified intelligibility of the dynamic, organic economic process.  In the sweeping comprehensive act of understanding, all the abstract explanatory conjugates explaining the dynamic economic process are “yoked” together by their functional relations to one another.  The interdependencies of the flows which constitutethe whole dynamic system are grasped in a solidary whole.  And the patterns of the formulation are isomorphic with the patterns in the objective, unitary economic process.  The principle of unity and wholeness is a single, comprehensive intelligibility. (Continue reading)

To and For Economists, Investment Analysts, and Commentators on Bloomberg Surveillance, Squawk Box, and Mornings with Maria

To Tom Keene, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Maria Bartiromo, Lisa Abramowicz, Becky Quick, Francine Lacqua, Dagen McDowell, Joe Kernen, Jonathan Ferro, Larry Kudlow, Charles Payne, Neil Cavuto, Stuart Varney, Jim Cramer, Henrietta Treyz, Larry Summers, David Weston, Courtney Donohoe, Romaine Bostick, Hallinda Amin, Dani Burger, Gina Cervetti, Margaret Collins, Manus Cranny, Abigail Doolittle, Scarlet Fu, June Grasso, Kriti Gupta, Ritika Gupta, Morgan Brennan, David Faber, Steve Liesmann, Carl Quintanilla, Kate Rooney, Rick Santelli, Michael Santoli, Liz Claman, Gerry Baker, Taylor Riggs, Anastasia Amoroso, Jackie DeAngelis, Brian Brenberg.

Lonergan’s Preface to his seminal work Insight, A Study of Human Understanding, begins …

In the ideal detective story the reader is given all the clues yet fails to spot the criminal.  He may advert to each clue as it arises.  He needs no further clues to solve the mystery.  Yet he can remain in the dark for the simple reason that reaching the solution is not the mere apprehension of any clue, not the mere memory of all, but a quite distinct activity of organizing intelligence that places the full set of clues in a unique explanatory perspective. (CWL 3, Preface ix)

Paraphrasing the above (CWL 3, Preface, ix): Continue reading

New Foundations in 30 Minutes

New foundations for a new science of macroeconomics are grounded in

  • a scientific, dynamic heuristic
  • the technique of implicit definition
  • precise, purely relational, analytic distinctions between abstract fundamental terms and relations from which a superstructure of complete explanation may be deduced
  • the relativistic, field-theoretic functional interrelations among interdependent, mutually-defining, explanatory functional flows

Continue reading

The Road Up is The Road Down; The Mechanism of Rising and Falling  Prices

This post was originally entered on May 30, 2022.  We repeat it now because it remains relevant.

“The road up and the road down is one and the same. (Heraclitus)
ὁδὸς ἄνω κάτω μία καὶ ὡυτή

Archaeologists and scholars have not found the context of this isolated fragment of Heraclitus.  What “road” was he referring to, and was he was speaking literally or figuratively? I simply like the statement as an introduction to the ups and downs of distinct price-quantity flows, whether in a pure cycle of expansion or in a distorted cycle of inflationary boom and corrective slump. Continue reading

Pointers to the Philosophic, Mathematical, and Scientific Bases of Lonergan’s Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics

Being is the objective of the unrestricted desire to know.  Being is intrinsically intelligible and one. Apart from being there is nothing.

Intelligibility is the very essence of unity.  Intelligibility is intrinsic to being and, at the same time, it is the essence of unity.  Formal intelligibility is form; it is the unity of unification or of correlation.  Correlation is abstract; it constitutes the implicit definition of explanatory terms by their functional relations among themselves.

“Functional” is for Lonergan a technical term pertaining to the realm of explanation, analysis, theory;  … Lonergan (identified) the contemporary notion of a “function” as one of the most basic kinds of explanatory, implicit definition – one that specifies “things in their relations to one another” … [CWL 15, 26-27  ftnt 27]

The economic process is an aspect of being.  The immanent intelligibility of the dynamic economic process is the essence of the process’s unity.  (Continue reading)

Explanation By Gross Domestic Functional Flows To Supplement Description By Gross Domestic Product

A distinction has been drawn between description and explanation.  Description deals with things as related to us.  Explanation deals with the same things as related among themselves.  The two are not totally independent, for they deal with the same things and, as we have seen, description supplies, as it were, the tweezers by which we hold things while explanations are being discovered or verified, applied or revised. … [CWL 3, 291/316]

The analysis of the overall dynamic functioning, which we call in nominal terms the economic process, must seek the explanation of the process.   It must seek the objective immanent intelligibility among the interdependent, dynamic “functionings” which altogether constitute the process.  The functionings are rates of so much or so many every so often, and, thus, they are velocities.  And the scientific analysis must be in terms of abstract, implicitly-defined, explanatory conjugates rather than in terms of the descriptive accountants’ unities of merely legal or proprietary entities called “firms.” (Continue reading)

Elizabeth Warren’s Advice to Jerome Powell; Sentiment Without Intelligence

The Wall Street Journal of 7/25/2022 featured an article by Senator Elizabeth Warren:  “Jerome Powell’s Fed Pursues a Painful and Ineffective Inflation Cure.” Because she lacks an objectivenormative, abstract, explanatory theory and, thus, fails to understand the functional interdependencies constituting the organic economic process, particular arguments in her article are a) sometimes contaminated by psychopolitical wishful opinions, b) often ignorantly one-sided because she is unaware that some policies have double edges, c) sometimes contradictory of her other arguments, and d) in at least one case, supercilious.

E. Warren suffers from the same plight as Thomas Picketty. To satisfy her responsibility to the public, she needs to achieve a scientific understanding of the organic economic process; she needs to get a “grip.”

We are at the heart of Picketty’s plight: he has no clue of the needed grip on the grounds of the inequality in history.  So, what else can he offer but a centralist solution, taxation, to history’s drunken careening. (McShane, Philip, Picketty’s Plight, 53)

In equity (the basic expansion following the surplus expansion) should be directed to raising the standard of living of the whole society.  It does not.  And the reason why it does not is not the reason on which simple-minded moralists insist.  They blame greed.  But the prime cause is ignorance.  The dynamics of surplus and basic expansion, surplus and basic incomes are not understood, not formulated, not taught….. [CWL 15, 82]

(Continue reading)

Abstraction in Macroeconomics; Classical and Statistical Laws

Abstraction is enriching.  The relation of things to our senses must be transcended by abstraction; abstraction yields explanatory concepts implicitly defined by their functional relations to one another.

The commonsense accounting relations constituting historical Gross Domestic Product must be supplemented by the abstract explanatory formulation of Current Gross Domestic Functional Flows.  All participants must have the scientific guidance of a normative theory in order to properly adapt their personal conduct to the principles and laws of the objective process. (Continue reading)