Machine Dreams: Economics Becomes a Cyborg Science / Edition 1

Machine Dreams: Economics Becomes a Cyborg Science / Edition 1

by Philip Mirowski
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521775264

ISBN-13: 9780521775267

Pub. Date: 12/28/2001

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

This is the first cross-over book in the history of science written by an historian of economics, combining a number of disciplinary and stylistic orientations. In it Philip Mirowshki shows how what is conventionally thought to be "history of technology" can be integrated with the history of economic ideas. His analysis combines Cold War history with the history of…  See more details below

Overview

This is the first cross-over book in the history of science written by an historian of economics, combining a number of disciplinary and stylistic orientations. In it Philip Mirowshki shows how what is conventionally thought to be "history of technology" can be integrated with the history of economic ideas. His analysis combines Cold War history with the history of the postwar economics profession in America and later elsewhere, revealing that the Pax Americana had much to do with the content of such abstruse and formal doctrines such as linear programming and game theory. He links the literature on "cyborg science" found in science studies to economics, an element missing in the literature to date. Mirowski further calls into question the idea that economics has been immune to postmodern currents found in the larger culture, arguing that neoclassical economics has surreptitiously participated in the desconstruction of the integral "Self." Finally, he argues for a different style of economics, an alliance of computational and institutional themes, and challenges the widespread impression that there is nothing else besides American neoclassical economic theory left standing after the demise of Marxism. Philip Mirowski is Carl Koch Professor of Economics and the History and Philosophy of Science, University of Notre Dame. He teaches in both the economics and science studies communities and has written frequently for academic journals. He is also the author of More Heat than Light (Cambridge, 1992) and editor of Natural Images in Economics (Cambridge, 1994) and Science Bought and Sold (University of Chicago, 2001).

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521775267
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
12/28/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
672
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
1Cyborg Agonistes1
Rooms with a View2
Where the Cyborgs Are4
The Natural Sciences and the History of Economics7
Anatomy of a Cyborg11
Attack of the Cyborgs18
The New Automaton Theatre23
2Some Cyborg Genealogies; or, How the Demon Got Its Bots26
The Little Engines That Could've31
Adventures of a Red-Hot Demon43
Demons Who Came in from the Code: Cybernetics54
The Devil That Made Us Do It77
The Advent of Complexity88
3John von Neumann and the Cyborg Incursion into Economics94
Economics at One Remove99
Phase One: Purity105
Phase Two: Impurity116
Phase Three: Worldliness136
4The Military, the Scientists, and the Revised Rules of the Game153
What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?153
Ruddled and Bushwhacked: The Cyborg Character of Science Mobilization in World War II161
Operations Research: Blipkrieg177
The Ballad of Hotelling and Schultz190
SRG, RAND, Rad Lab199
5Do Cyborgs Dream of Efficient Markets?232
From Red Vienna to Computopia232
The Goals of Cowles, and Red Afterglows: Getting in Line with the Program241
Every Man His Own Stat Package: Cowles Unrepentant, Unrecursive, and Unrecusant271
On the Impossibility of a Democratic Computer302
6The Empire Strikes Back309
Previews of Cunning Abstractions309
It's a World Eat World Dog: Game Theory at RAND319
The High Cost of Information in Postwar Neoclassical Theory370
Rigor Mortis in the First Casualty of War390
Does the Rational Actor Compute?415
7Core Wars437
Inhuman, All Too Inhuman437
Herbert Simon: Simulacra versus Automata452
Showdown at the OR Corral479
Send in the Clones503
8Machines Who Think versus Machines That Sell517
Where Is the Computer Taking Us?520
Five Alternative Scenarios for the Future of Computational Economics523
The Hayek Hypothesis and Experimental Economics545
Gode and Sunder Go Roboshopping551
Contingency, Irony, and Computation560
App. 8.1Double Auction and Sealed Bid Encoded onto Automata567
App. 8.2Sealed-Bid Auction with Accumulation Rule572
Envoi575
References577
Index645

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