[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”)**

# Category Archives: Theoretical Physics

# 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)**

# The Wise Person Puts Questions In Their Right Order

In any **analysis** there is a **right order of questions**; and to violate this order is to invite misunderstanding, myth, and disaster. To indicate the wisdom in Lonergan’s analysis, we present excerpts, mainly from his CWL 12, which mandate clearly, for himself and for us, that one’s method and one’s heuristic necessitate putting **questions in their right order**. The precepts apply whether one is doing physics, economics, philosophy or theology. Continue reading

# Field Theory in Physics and Macroeconomics

We hope to inspire serious graduate students of economics **a)** to seek and achieve an understanding of “**Macroeconomic Field Theory**,” **b)** to** verify** **empirically** Lonergan’s field relations, and **c)** to use the explanatory field relations as **the basis of influential scholarly papers.**

We trace developments

- in physics from Newtonian mechanics to modern field theory, and
- in economics from Walrasian supply-demand economics to purely relational, Modern Macroeconomic Field Theory.

Key ideas include a) **abstraction and implicit definition** as the basis and ground of **invariance** in both physics and macroeconomics, b) the concept of a **purely relational field**, c) **immanent intelligibility and formal causality**, and d) the canons of **parsimony** and of **complete explanation**. We highlight some key ideas: (continue reading)

# Two Summaries in Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics

**.I. Summary of the Analysis: Heuristic, Observations, and Discoveries**

**.II. Summary of the Argument **(verbatim from CWL 15, 5-6)

**.III. Supplement to the Summaries**

# Why Economists Don’t Flock to Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics

**Economists don’t have the methodological and conceptual toolkit needed for appreciation of FMD’s scientific and historical significance.**

- They don’t know what they don’t know.
- They’re not methodologists and don’t know what constitutes good theory.
**They never read CWL 3, pages 3-172 and 490-97**and, thus, they never studied the**canons of empirical method**, especially the**Canon of Parsimony**and the**Canon of Complete Explanation;**they have no idea of the deficiencies of their method.

- Thus, they lack a purely
**scientific and explanatory heuristic**.- They do not adequately distinguish
**description vs. explanation**. - They do not know the type of answer they’re seeking, i.e. their known unknown.
- They do not put questions in the right order to discover basic terms of
**scientific significance.** - They are mired in muddy premises and disorienting assumptions.
- They are unable to employ a
**scientific, dynamic heuristic**adequate for analysis of a**current**,**purely dynamic process.** - They don’t understand what constitutes the normative system’s requirement for
**concomitance, continuity, and equilibrium of flows.**

- They do not adequately distinguish
- They lack a
**background in theoretical physics**. They don’t understand the principles and abstract laws of**hydrodynamics, electric circuits, or field theory**. Nor do they understand adequately the idea of**continuity**and the**conditions of equilibrium in macroeconomic dynamics**. They are unaware of analogies from physics applicable on the basis of**isomorphism**to the phenomena of Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics. (Continue reading.)

# Prediction is Impossible in the General Case

In his book, *FREEFALL *(2009, Penguin Books), **Joseph Eugene Stiglitz**, a professor at Columbia University and a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences (2001) and the John Bates Clark Medal (1979), states that economics is a predictive science. Now, one must distinguish between predicting a) planetary motion in its **scheme of recurrence**, and b) this afternoon’s weather vs. next month’s weather, or this afternoon’s prices and quantities vs. next year’s prices and quantities, all subject to to **conditions diverging in space and time**. Continue reading)

# The IS-LM, AD-AS, and Phillips Curve Models

In this section, we are contrasting familiar textbook models of **macrostatic equilibrium**, with Lonergan’s **explanatory theory **of **macrodynamic equilibrium**. We are contrasting a macrostatic toolkit with a** purely relational field theory** of macroeconomic dynamics. Lonergan discovered a theory which is more fundamental than the traditional wisdom based upon human psychology and purported endogenous reactions to external forces. His Functional Macroeconomic Dynamics is a set of **relationships between n objects**, a set of intelligible relations linking what is

**implicitly defined by the relations themselves**, a set of relational forms wherein the form of any element is known through its relations to all other elements. His field theory is a

**single**

**explanatory unity**; it is purely relational, completely general, and universally applicable to every configuration in any instance. (Continue reading)

# The Emergence of Science

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 requirementof a rate of losses will result in a series of contractions and liquidations. … [CWL 15, 155]… a

science emergeswhen thinking in a given field moves tothe 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’sElements. Euclid’s achievement was to bring together all these scattered theorems by setting up aunitary basisthat would handle all of them and a great number of others as well. … Similarly,mechanics became a systemwith 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 somethingfunctioning as a system. But thesystem 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 itbecame 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 hasa determinate systematic structureto which corresponds a determinate field. [CWL 14, Method, 1971, 241-42]