A recent interview of Ray Dalio (Bridgewater Associates) is available on YouTube. An introduction to Mr. Dalio’s thinking is available on the Bridgewater website’s home page under the title The Economy, How the Economic Machine Works.
The final paragraph of this Post is as follows: We hope that Mr. Dalio will study Bernard Lonergan’sMacroeconomic Dynamics: An Essay in Circulation Analysis (CWL 15) to advance his present considerable understanding further – from a self-described “mechanic” to a theorist of circulation analysis, whose formulations are precisely explanatory,compelling to the private sector of the economic process, and verifiable by econometricians. We hope that, as a person of influence, Mr. Dalio will convey a more advanced, explanatory understanding of the pretio-quantital economic process to the nation and to the world.
In particular, Mr. Dalio should not speak shallowly and haphazardly of “common prosperity”; rather he should understand and master Lonergan’s theory of the basic-expansionary phase of the pure cycle of expansion. One of the motives driving Lonergan to seek and discover the science of the objective economic process was to establish scientific grounds for social policy. Unlike in totalitarian countries where people are free to be an obedient ant, here human persons are free to think and learn and free to conduct themselves according to the norms and precepts of the objective economic process. … … We now offer some pointers; as we say in the Welcome: Continue reading →
To help the reader gain an appreciation of Lonergan’s achievement of Modern Macroeconomic Field Theory we will, in each section, print leading excerpts, then highlight the key concepts of those excerpts. We will comment on the historically-significant advances in geometry of Euclid and Hilbert, in physics of Newton andEinstein, and in macroeconomics of Lonergan.
Euclid’s great achievement was his rigorous deduction of geometry.
Hilbert’s great achievement was his employment of implicit definition to reorder Euclid’s geometry.
Newton’s two great achievements were unifying the isolated insights of Galileo and Kepler into a unified system of mechanics and his invention of the calculus.
One of the great achievements of Einstein was the invention of the field theories of Special Relativity, General Relativity, and Gravitation.
One of Lonergan’s several great achievements was his systematization of macroeconomic phenomena in his Modern Macroeconomic Field Theory. He combined the technique of implicit definition introduced by Hilbert and the concept of a field theory developed by Faraday and Einstein; and he developed an explanatory macroeconomics, which is general, invariant, and relevant in any instance. (Continue reading)
“if we want a comprehensive grasp of everything in a unified whole, we shall have to construct a diagram in which are symbolically represented all the various elements of the question along with all the connections between them.” [McShane, 2016, 44]
.I. Introduction: Contrasting Diagrams and What They Represent
We contrast an assumption and description with an explanation and interpretation. We contrast the Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) assumptionand description of pricing as exogenously given and acceptable as a lead item in analysis of economic problems with Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics’ (FMD’s) explanation and interpretation of pricing in the light of the significant functional pretio-quantital flows, which explain the dynamic economic process. (Continue reading)
The “formal cause” of the economic process is its immanent intelligibility. The formal cause consists in the primary relativities or general laws which explain the process, and which hold in any number of instances. In the formal cause we apprehend many things as one; we grasp all in a unified view and as a unified whole. The formal cause contains the normative theory but explains both equilibria and disequilibria. Particular boundary conditions, such as past and future prices and quantities – a staple of university textbooks – are relatively insignificant for the analysis; these boundary conditions are further determinations that are contingent from the very fact that they have to be obtained from a non-systematic manifold. (CWL 3, 491-6/) Continue reading →
Lonergan, like Euclid, Newton, and Mendeleyev, moved through his field of inquiry to the level of system.
(Given the failure to implement the basic expansion,) the systematic requirement of a rate of losses will result in a series of contractions and liquidations. … [CWL 15, 155]
… a science emerges when thinking in a given field moves to the level of system. Prior to Euclid there were many geometrical theorems that had been established. The most notable example is Pythagoras’ theorem on the hypotenuse of the right-angled triangle, which occurs at the end of book 1 of Euclid’s Elements. Euclid’s achievement was to bring together all these scattered theorems by setting up a unitary basis that would handle all of them and a great number of others as well. … Similarly, mechanics became a system with Newton. Prior to Newton, Galileo’s law of the free fall and Kepler’s three laws of planetary motion were known. But these were isolated laws. Galileo’s prescription was that the system was to be a geometry’; so there was something functioning as a system. But the system really emerged with Newton. This is what gave Newton his tremendous influence upon the enlightenment. He laid down a set of basic, definitions, and axioms, and proceeded to demonstrate and conclude from general principles and laws that had been established empirically by his predecessors. Mechanics became a science in the full sense at that point where it became an organized system. … Again, a great deal of chemistry was known prior to Mendeleev. But his discovery of the periodic table selected a set of basic chemical elements and selected them in such a way that further additions could be made to the basic elements. Since that time chemistry has been one single organized subject with a basic set of elements accounting for incredibly vast numbers of compounds. In other words, there is a point in the history of any science when it comes of age, when it has a determinate systematic structure to which corresponds a determinate field. [CWL 14, Method, 1971, 241-42]