We note that several instructors in Lonergan’s **Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics** give conceptual priority to his Diagram of Rates of Flow in their essays. Continue reading

# Category Archives: Science and Explanation

# Insight Into The “Baseball Diamond”: Discovery For Implementation

Thus, if we want to have

a comprehensive grasp of everything in a unified whole, we shall have to construct a diagram in which aresymbolically representedall the various elements along with all the connections between them. [McShane 2014, 11 (quoting CWL 7, 151)]

We wish here to suggest the insights the reader should have to fully appreciate all that is contained in the Diagram of Rates of Flow. (Continue reading).

# A Burley Sampler

In our Thanks section we have emphasized our debt to Professor Peter Burley. With a PhD in physics (Adelaide, 1965) and a PhD in Economics (Princeton, 1968) he was well qualified to understand the revolutionary nature of Lonergan’s Macroeconomic Field Theory. (Continue reading)

# A Normative Dynamic Structure, Despite Maladaptive Errors by “Infielders”

Functional Macroeconomic Dynamicshas adefinite, normative, dynamic structure. Evidently, there is a high degree of indeterminacy to events within such a dynamic structure. All one can say is the game can go all awry. But despite this almost baffling indeterminacy,it remains that there is a definite dynamic structure. [CWL 21, 211-12]

The **velocities** of correlated, interdependent payments must keep pace and be in balance. Payments of dummy money **move **at** velocities in circuits; e.g.** *O = I = E = R* (CWL 15, 54) and *O’ + O” = I’ + I” = E’ + E” = R’ + R” *(CWL 15, 54) The arrows in the **Diagram of Rates of Flow** represent channels containing analytically-distinguished, **interdependent**, functional **velocities**. These dynamic functionings are **defined by the functional relations** in which they stand with one another.

The intelligibility of the **concrete process** consists of two components: an **abstract** **primary relativity** expressing the **normative systematic structure**, and a **secondary component of concrete determinations** from the non-systematic manifold. There is a **normativity** to the dynamic structure. An analogy from baseball may help to make the point regarding **interdependence and keeping pace.**

A large and

positive crossover differenceuncompensated by action from the pitcher’s box will result sooner or later in depriving the groups at second and third bases of all their balls, or if thecrossover difference is large and negative, it will result in depriving the groups at home and first of all their balls. Continue reading

# Lilley and Rogoff Recommending Negative Interest Rates

We are commenting with respect to Andrew Lilley and Kenneth Rogoff’s “**conference draft” **discussing the advisability of a FRB policy of negative interest rates:

** **Lilley, Andrew and Kenneth Rogoff, April 24, 2019: **“The Case for Implementing Effective Negative Interest Rate Policy”** (*Conference draft for presentation at Strategies For Monetary Policy: A Policy Conference*, the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, May 4, 2019, 9:15 am PST) **[Lilley and Rogoff, 2019] **(Continue reading)

# Ray Dalio re Debt Crises (originally posted 9/11/18, now repeated 9/17/20)

This is a slightly-revised repeat of a Post of 9/11/18. It remains relevant to Mr. Dalio’s thinking.

The final paragraph of this Post is as follows: We hope that Mr. Dalio will study Bernard Lonergan’s ** Macroeconomic Dynamics: An Essay in Circulation Analysis (CWL 15)** to advance his present considerable understanding even further so as to understand

**the real grounds**that might make his predictions successful . We hope that, as a person of influence, Mr. Dalio will convey a more advanced,

**explanatory understanding**of the economic process to the nation and the world.

On 9/11/18 Ray Dalio, Co-Chairman and Founder of Bridgewater Associates, appeared on TV and reviewed some highlights of his new book, *A Template for Understanding Big Debt Crises*. The book is presently available as a free PDF (with some strings attached). An alternative, no-strings-attached, 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*.

Mr. Dalio’s comments were cogent; they were somewhat aligned with much of what Lonergan has provided in his **scientific systematics** of the economic process. Both would agree that the repetition of crises is not inevitable; crises are caused by **repeated mismanagement**. But what Dalio loosely ** describes** Lonergan precisely

**. Continue reading**

*explains*# The Abstract and Concrete Components of Science (Brief Item #89)

[9/22/2020] (Bernard Lonergan, Albert Einstein) Because insights arise with reference to the **concrete**, mathematicians need pen and paper, teachers need blackboards, pupils have to **perform experiments** for themselves, doctors have to see patients, trouble-shooters have to travel to the spot, people with a mechanical bent **take things apart to see how they work**. But because the significance and relevance of **insight goes beyond any concrete problem or application**, men formulate **abstract sciences** with their numbers and symbols, their technical terms and formulae, their definitions, postulates, and deductions. Thus, by its very nature, insight is the mediator, the hinge, the pivot. It is insight *into* the concrete world of sense and imagination. Yet what is known by insight, what insight adds to sensible and imagined presentations, finds its adequate expression **only in the abstract and recondite formulations of the sciences**. [CWL 3, 6/30] [#89] **(Click ****here**** for previous “Single Paragraphs” or “Brief Items”)**

# A Comparative Note on Einstein’s Special-Relativity Field Theory and Lonergan’s Macroeconomic Field Theory

Special Relativity and Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics are **field theories. (Click here and here and here) **We wish to gain further appreciation of **FMD as a field theory** by juxtaposing it with Special Relativity.

…

Special Relativityis primarily afield theory, that is, it is concerned not withefficient, instrumental,material, orfinalcauses of events, but with the intelligibilityimmanent in data; but Newtonian dynamics seems primarilya theory of efficient causes, offorces, theiraction, and the reactionevoked by action. … Special Relativity is stated as amethodological doctrinethat regards the mathematical expression of physical principles and laws, but Newtonian dynamics is stated as a doctrine about theobjects subject to laws. [3, 43/67] (Continue reading)

# A McShane Sampler Relevant to Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics

Philip McShane had a strong background in mathematics and theoretical physics; thus he was able to understand the scientific significance of Bernard Lonergan’s **macroeconomic** **field theory** in an **Einsteinian context**.

First we display, in brief, key excerpts, many of which contain analogies from physics and chemistry, relevant to the science of Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics; then we show the same excerpts more fully within lengthier quotes. Continue reading

# Theoretical Breakthroughs of Euclid, Newton, Hilbert, Einstein, and Lonergan

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 and** **Einstein, 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)**