Two Minds: Intuition and Analysis in the History of Economic Thought

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Roger Frantz
437 g
245x164x24 mm

As everyone knows, intuition is warm and fuzzy, qualitative, not measurable. Economics, on the other hand, is quantitative, and if it is not a hard science, at least it is the "queen of the social sciences." It is, therefore, intuitively obvious, that intuition and economics are as if oil and water. The problem is, what is intuitively obvious is not always correct. And, there are two major reasons why intuition and economics are not like oil and water. First, economics concerns itself with decision making, and decisions are made in the brain. The human brain is the size of a grapefruit, weighing three pounds with approximately 180 billion neurons, each physically independent but interacting with the other neurons. What we call intuition is, like decision making, a natural information processing function of the brain. Second, despite the current emphasis on quantitative analysis and deductive logic there is a rich history of economists speaking about intuition. First, the human brain, specifically the neocortex, has a left and right hemisphere. The specialized analytical style of the left hemisphere and the specialized intuitive style of the right hemispheres complement each other.
First book dedicated to the role of intuition in economic thought
To Intuition.- Adam Smith. New Intuitions For A New Age.- John Stuart Mill. An Anti-Intuitionist Social Reformer.- Alfred Marshall. Metaphysician and Economist.- Intuition and Analysis in the Economics of the John Maynard Keynes.- Frank Knight. Intuition, Risk and Uncertainty.- Swimming Against the Stream. Herbert Simon, Harvey Leibenstein, George Shackle, Friedrich von Hayek.- Intuition in Current Economic Literature.

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