The Review of Austrian Economics, 16:4, 381–384, 2003. c 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Manufactured in The Netherlands. Review Steve Keen (2001) Debunking Economics, Annandale, NSW, Australia: Pluto Press, 335 + ix pp., $27.50 Debunking Economics is a bold attempt to shake the foundations of the neoclassical economic mainstream. Embarking on this review, we had suspected we might ﬁnd large areas of agreement with a fellow apostate. However, Keen’s work suffers from many of the very faults of which he accuses the mainstream. The most troublesome is that Keen’s work is quite frequently ideologically motivated, even while criticizing neoclassical practitioners for ideological economics. In the end we ﬁnd it a brave but ﬂawed effort to dethrone the current economic orthodoxy. Methodological Holism Versus Methodological Individualism Keen demonstrates that many attempts to aggregate quantities applying to individuals, so as to come up with a measure for “society’s utility” or “society’s indifference curves,” lack coherence. Fair enough. But the conclusion he draws from that fact is an ideological one. After pointing out the ﬂaws in certain aggregate measures, Keen says, “society must exist as an entity in its own right” (p. 40). But that doesn’t follow from his argument; indeed, we would
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 4, 2004
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