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Profile: Andy Denis (City University London)
  1. Andy Denis, “Collective and Individual Rationality: Maynard Keynes's Methodological Standpoint and Policy Prescription”.
    In a world of partially overlapping and partially conflicting interests there is good reason to doubt that self-seeking behaviour at the micro-level will spontaneously lead to desirable social outcomes at the macro-level.
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  2. Andy Denis, Collective and Individual Rationality in the History of Economic Thought: The Early Marx's Theory of States as Organisms.
    This paper forms part of a research project investigating conceptions of the relationship between micro-level selfseeking agent behaviour and the desirability or otherwise of the resulting macro-level social outcomes in the history of economics.
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  3. Andy Denis, Dialectics and the Austrian School?
    In a recent paper (Denis, 2004b) I argued that the neoclassical use of the concept of equilibrium was guilty of a hypostatisation: an equilibrium which is only an abstraction and extrapolation, the logical terminus of a component process taken in isolation, is extracted and one-sidedly substituted for the whole. The temporary is made permanent, and process subordinated to stasis, with clearly apologetic results. I concluded by suggesting that this hypostatisation exemplified the contrast between formal and dialectical modes of thought, and (...)
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  4. Andy Denis, Hayek and the Emergence of Spontaneous Order.
    Hayek Revisited consists of papers presented at four conferences held by the Ludwig von Mises Institute between 1993 and 1996 ‘in honour of Hayek’s] ideas’ xi), and, according to the front flap, the purpose of the volume is ‘to celebrate’, ‘to celebrate … and pay testament to’ Hayek’s contribution. The very first phrase of the Introduction speaks of “The awesome scope of..
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  5. Andy Denis, Hayek's Panglossian Evolutionary Theory: A Response to Whitman's 'Rejoinder'.
    The background to this paper is as follows. In 1998 Glen Whitman published a paper in Constitutional Political Economy called ‘Hayek contra Pangloss on Evolutionary Systems’. At the same time and unaware of Whitman’s work, I posted my draft PhD chapter ‘Friedrich Hayek: a Panglossian evolutionary theorist’ (Denis, 2001, contains the final version) on my web page. Alain Albert (personal communication), having read the PhD chapter, drew my attention to Whitman’s article, and the result was a paper ‘Was Hayek a (...)
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  6. Andy Denis, Methodology and Policy Prescription in Economic Thought: A Response to Mario Bunge.
    Bunge (2000) distinguishes two main methodological approaches of holism and individualism, and associates with them policy prescriptions of centralism and laissez-faire. He identifies systemism as a superior approach to both the study and management of society. The present paper, seeking to correct and develop this line of thought, suggests a more complex relation between policy and methodology. There are two possible methodological underpinnings for laissez-faire: while writers such as Friedman and Lucas fit Bunge’s pattern, more sophisticated advocates of laissez-faire, such (...)
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  7. Andy Denis, Richard Dawkins on the Nature of the Gene.
    This note argues that the charge of reductionism levelled against Richard Dawkins is false. It does so by examining the development of his notion of the genes in his books The Selfish Gene (TSG), and The Extended Phenotype (TEP).
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  8. Andy Denis, Some Notes on Methodological Individualism: Orthodox and Heterodox Views.
    methodology both of neoclassical and Austrian economics, as well as other approaches, from New Keynesianism to analytical Marxism. Yet there is considerable controversy as to what the phrase means. Moreover, the methodologies of those to whom the theoretical practice of MI is ascribed differ profoundly on the status of the individual economic agent: economics.
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  9. Andy Denis (2008). Dialectics and the Austrian School? The Search for Common Ground in the Methodology of Heterodox Economics. Journal of Philosophical Economics 1 (2):151-173.
    In a recent paper (Denis, 2004b) I argued that the neoclassical use of the concept of equilibrium was guilty of a hypostatisation: an equilibrium which is only an abstraction and extrapolation, the logical terminus of a component process taken in isolation, is extracted and one-sidedly substituted for the whole. The temporary is made permanent, and process subordinated to stasis, with clearly apologetic results. I concluded by suggesting that this hypostatisation exemplified the contrast between formal and dialectical modes of thought, and (...)
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  10. Andy Denis (2007). The Hypostatisation of the Concept of Equilibrium in Neoclassical Economics. In Valeria Mosini (ed.), Equilibrium in Economics: Scope and Limits.
    The concept of equilibrium has long been a focus for dissent between orthodox and heterodox schools of thought in economics. The paper explores the meanings of ‘equilibrium’ and attempts to tease apart salient appropriate and inappropriate modes of deployment of the concept. Under far-from-equilibrium conditions, equilibrium is not even an approximate description of the condition of the system, but an abstraction – a state of affairs which might obtain should a process under consideration run to its conclusion. The order of (...)
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  11. Andy Denis (2006). Modeling Rational Agents: From Interwar Economics to Early Modern Game Theory, Nicola Giocoli, Edward Elgar, 2003, X + 464 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 22 (1):159-166.
  12. Andy Denis (2006). Hayek’s Challenge: An Intellectual Biography of F. A. Hayek. [REVIEW] Review of Political Economy 18 (4):579-583.
    Hayek’s Challenge is subtitled ‘an intellectual biography’ of Hayek, and the publisher describes it as ‘the first full intellectual biography’ of Hayek (front flap). But Caldwell himself appears to disagree: it was ‘never my goal’ to write ‘a comprehensive intellectual biography’ (177, note 10). Further, the book has a ‘secret title’: Caldwell’s Challenge (4). To assess what Caldwell has done, it is important to be very clear about what he was trying to do. Caldwell spells out in detail, in engaging (...)
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  13. Andy Denis (2005). The Invisible Hand of God in Adam Smith. Research in the History of Economic Thought and Methodology 23 (A):1-32.
    writings, however, reveals a profoundly medieval outlook. Smith is preoccupied with the need to preserve order in society. His scientific methodology emphasises reconciliation with the world we live in rather than investigation of it. He invokes a version of natural law in which the universe is a harmonious machine administered by a providential deity. Nobody is uncared for and, in real happiness, we are all substantially equal. No action is without its appropriate reward – in this life or the next. (...)
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  14. Andy Denis (2004). Two Rhetorical Strategies of Laissez-Faire. Journal of Economic Methodology 11 (3):341-357.
    To understand the work of economic theorists it is often helpful to situate it in the context of the rhetorical strategy they were pursuing. Two ontologically distinct rhetorical strategies of laissez-faire may be distinguished by the way they articulate the individual interest with the general interest. A reductionist approach, exemplified by Friedman and Lucas, suggests that the properties and behaviour of an entity can be understood in terms of the properties and behaviour of the constituent lower-level components, taken in isolation. (...)
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  15. Andy Denis (2002). Was Hayek a Panglossian Evolutionary Theorist? A Reply to Whitman. Constitutional Political Economy 13 (3):275-285.
    By means of a consideration of Whitman (1998) the present paper considers the meanings of ‘Panglossianism’ and the relation between group and individual levels in evolution. It establishes the connection between the Panglossian policy prescription of laissez-faire and the mistaken evolutionary theory of group selection. Analysis of the passages in Hayek cited by Whitman shows that, once these passages are taken in context, and once the appropriate meaning of the term ‘Panglossian’ has been clarified, they fail to defend Hayek from (...)
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  16. Andy Denis (1999). Was Adam Smith an Individualist? History of the Human Sciences 12 (3):71-86.
    Smith is generally regarded as an individualist without qualification. This paper argues that his predominantly individualist policy prescription is rooted in a more complex philosophy. He sees nature, including human nature, as a vast machine supervised by God and designed to maximise human happiness. Human weaknesses, as well as strengths, display the wisdom of God and play their part in this scheme. While Smith pays lip service to justice, it is really social order that pre-occupies him, and within that, the (...)
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