Edward Fullbrook  (2008) Pluralist Economics
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Edward Fullbrook (2008) Pluralist Economics

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Pluralist Economics
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Pluralist Economics
edited by
Zed Books
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Pluralist Economics was first published in 2008 by Zed Books Ltd, 7 Cynthia Street, London N1
9JF, UK and Room 400, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010, USA
Editorial copyright © Edward Fullbrook 2008
Copyright in this collection © Zed Books 2008 
The rights of the editor and authors to be identified as the authors of this work have been 
asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988
Designed and typeset by Long House, Cumbria UK
Cover designed by Andrew Corbett
Printed and bound in the EU by Gutenberg Press Ltd
Distributed in the USA exclusively by Palgrave Macmillan, a division of St Martin\u2019s Press, LLC,
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval
system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or
otherwise, without the prior permission of Zed Books Ltd. 
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library 
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data available
ISBN 978 1 84813 043 2 hb
ISBN 978 1 84813 044 9 pb
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Notes on Contributors vii
Introduction 1
Part I - What Is Pluralism? 
1 - Neoclassical Economics: Three Identifying Features 13
2 - Pluralism, Formalism and American Economics 26
3 - The Construction of Economics 44
4 - Paradigms and Pluralism 51
Part II - Arguments for Pluralism 
5 - Narrative Pluralism 83
6 - Three Arguments for Pluralism 111
7 - Economics as Ideology 117
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8 - Metaphor and Pluralism 128
9 - Explanatory Pluralism 151
Part III - Pluralist Practice in Economics 
10 - Beyond Talking the Talk 173
11 - In the Economics Classroom 193
12 - Some Practical Aspects 215
13 - Islamic Economics: A Case Study 228
Index 242
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Christian Arnsperger (Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium) is the
author of five books, including Critical Political Economy, published in 2008,
and has published over sixty articles.
David Colander (Middlebury College, USA), has authored, co-authored or
edited over thirty-five books and a hundred articles on a wide range of topics.
His books have been, or are being, translated into several languages, including
Chinese, Bulgarian, Polish, Italian and Spanish. He has been president of both
the Eastern Economic Association and the History of Economic Thought
Society and is, or has been, on the editorial boards of numerous journals, in-
cluding the Journal of Economic Perspectives and the Journal of Economic Education. 
Peter Earl (University of Queensland, Australia) has been doing behavioural
economics for three decades, although behavioural economics has only become
popular and relatively mainstream in recent years. He is the author or editor of
seventeen books and many journal articles and book chapters, a member of sev-
eral editorial boards, and has been co-editor of the Journal of Economic Psychology.
Alan Freeman (University of Greenwich, UK) is a founder and editor of the
new journal Critique of Political Economy, and the co-editor of several books,
including The Politics of Empire: Globalisation in Crisis and The New Value
Controversy and the Foundations of Economics.
Edward Fullbrook (University of the West of England, UK) is the founder
and editor of the Real World Economics Review (formerly the Post-Autistic
Economics Review). His essays on economics and philosophy have appeared in
numerous anthologies and journals. He has edited five books on economics,
including Real World Economics (2007) and A Guide to What\u2019s Wrong with
Economics (2004). His book Sex and Philosophy: Rethinking de Beauvoir and Sartre
was published in 2008.
Robert F. Garnett Jr (Texas Christian University, USA) is the co-editor of
Future Directions for Heterodox Economics (2008) and of the forthcoming
Pluralism in Economics and Economies.
Notes on Contributors
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Mohamed Aslam Haneef (International Islamic University, Malaysia) is the
author of numerous articles on Islam and economics, including Contemporary
Muslim Economic Thinking at the Turn of the 21st Century.
Geoffrey Hodgson (University of Hertfordshire, UK) is one of the leading
figures of modern institutionalism as well as being a major force for the reform
of economics. He is the author of more than a hundred articles and of a dozen
books, including the influential How Economics Forgot History and Economics and
J. E. King (La Trobe University, Australia) teaches industrial relations, the
economics of human resources and twentieth-century world economic
history. He is the author of several books, including A History of Post Keynesian
Economics Since 1936, The Rise of Neoliberalism in Advanced Capitalism (with M.
C. Howard) and Nicholas Kaldor.
Andrew Kliman (Pace University, USA) is the author of Reclaiming Marx\u2019s
\u2018Capital\u2019: A Refutation of the Myth of Inconsistency (2007) and of over thirty
articles. He is a founder and editor of the journal Critique of Political Economy.
Harry Landreth (Centre College, USA) has published diverse forms of
economic writing, including articles in professional journals, textbooks,
books, encyclopaedia entries, opinion-editorial pieces and articles for non-
professional readers. His textbook History of Economic Thought is currently in
its fourth edition.
Thomas Mayer (University of California, Davis, USA) has published more
than a hundred articles. His books include Truth versus Precision in Economics,
Disclosing Monetary Policy and Money, Banking and the Economy.
Kyle Siler (Cornell University, USA) earned his BA in 2002 and is currently
working on his doctorate. 
Peter Söderbaum (Mälardalen University, Sweden) has published articles on
the theme that although economics is science it is also and at the same time ideo-
logical and political. He also publishes extensively on ecological economics. His
books include Ecological Economics: A Political Economics Approach to Environment
and Development. 
Jeroen Van Bouwel (Ghent University, Belgium) is a Postdoctoral Fellow of
the Research Foundation \u2013 Flanders (Belgium), and a member of the Centre
for Logic and Philosophy of Science at Ghent University. His research is
centred on the idea of scientific pluralism.
Yanis Varoufakis (University of Athens, Greece) has taught economics in
the UK and Australia. He has published in many areas, including game
theory and economic theory; experimental game theory; political economy;
political and economic philosophy; labour economics, statistical theory and
method; and economic education.
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The year 2000, with hindsight, increasingly looks like a turning point for
economics. In June of that year economics students in Paris circulated a
petition calling for the reform of their curriculum. The petition described their
situation as follows: 
Most of us have chosen to study economics so as to acquire a deep understanding
of the economic phenomena with which the citizens of today