Monday, June 25, 2007

A funny way to make a point about methodolgical individualism

Nicolai Foss over at Organizations and Markets proves that you shouldn't mess with libertarians when they take on socialists at the root and branch.
Sophisticated attacks by methodological holists on methodological individualism often take the form of admitting that while, strictly speaking, only individuals act, individuals are so strongly influenced and constrained by institutions (in a broad sense) that we might as well disregard those individuals and instead reason directly from institutions to social outcomes. Individuals are effectively malleable by social forces. “There is no such thing as a human nature independent of culture,” Clifford Geertz famously argued, tying the holist argument to cultural relativism.
Read the whole item for a chuckle.

Meanwhile, read what O&M has to say about one of the most under-rated public intellectuals of our time, Douglass North.

Here's my review of North's Understanding the Process of Economic Change.

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