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The Market as a Creative Process

  • James M. Buchanan (a1) and Viktor J. Vanberg (a1)

Contributions in modern theoretical physics and chemistry on the behavior of nonlinear systems, exemplified by Ilya Prigogine's work on the thermodynamics of open systems (Prigogine and Stengers, 1984), attract growing attention in economics (Anderson, Arrow, and Pines, 1988; Arthur, 1990; Baumol and Benhabib, 1989; Mirowski, 1990; Radzicki, 1990). Our purpose here is to relate the new orientation in the natural sciences to a particular nonorthodox strand of thought within economics. All that is needed for this purpose is some appreciation of the general thrust of the enterprise, which involves a shift of perspective from the determinism of conventional physics (which presumably inspired the neoclassical research program in economics) to the nonteleological open-endedness, creative, and nondetermined nature of evolutionary processes.

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W. Brian Arthur . 1990. “Positive Feedbacks in the Economy.” Scientific American 262:9299.

James M. Buchanan 1969. Cost and Choice – An Inquiry in Economic Theory. Chicago: Markham Publishing Company.

Ulrich Fehl . 1986. “Spontaneous Order and the Subjectivity of Expectations: A Contribution to the Lachmann-O'Driscoll Problem.” In Subjectivism, Intelligibility, and Economic Understanding, edited by I. M. Kirzner , pp. 7286. New York: New York University Press.

Stephen C. Littlechild 1983. “Subjectivism and Method in Economics.” In Beyond Positive Economics, edited by J. Wiseman , pp. 3849. London: Macmillan.

Philip Mirowski . 1990. “From Mandelbrot to Chaos in Economic Theory.” Southern Economic Journal 57:289307.

Ilya Prigogine . 1986. “Science, Civilization and Democracy.” Futures 18:493507.

Michael J. Radzicki 1990. “Institutional Dynamics, Deterministic Chaos, and Self-Organizing Systems.” Journal of Economic Issues 24:57102.

G. L. S. Shackle 1983. “The Bounds of Unknowledge.” In Beyond Positive Economics, edited by J. Wiseman , pp. 2837. London: Macmillan.

Jack Wiseman . 1990. “Principles of Political Economy – An Outline Proposal, Illustrated by Application to Fiscal Feralism.” Constitutional Political Economy 1:101–27.

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Economics & Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0266-2671
  • EISSN: 1474-0028
  • URL: /core/journals/economics-and-philosophy
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