Catallaxy Files

polymathic pontification, bleeding heart economic rationalism and liberal secularist contrarianism

email: jasonsoon AT



  • Jason Soon
  • Heath Gibson
  • Jack Strocchi
  • Andrew Norton
  • Sarah Strasser
  • Teresa Fels


Intellectual heroes



  • Centrist
  • Leftish
  • Statist quo/flaming pink
  • Sui generis
    Monday, December 16, 2002
    Acknowledgments pages and the quality of UNSW Press

    As Heath (see below) scores a mention in the Acknowledgments page of John Wright’s book The Ethics of Economic Rationalism he can be glad that even if it is a misdirected attack on economic rationalism it is not a rant. Wright does try to summarise, with only modest commentary, neo-classical economics, though he seems unaware that there are critiques of neo-classical economics by people who support markets. Wright should have read much more widely, and had more people read his manuscript. If I'd been applying the rule I now apply to op-eds, which is to stop reading at the first factual error, I wouldn't have gone past Wright's first sentence, which falsely claims that the expression 'economic rationalism' was first used by Michael Pusey in 1991. In fact it has been in use since the 1970s. If Wright had done any serious reading of the existing literature he would have at least realised the term predated Pusey.

    Errors like this raise further concerns about the quality of UNSW Press. An extract from another UNSW Press book on internet education published in The Age last week was littered with errors. Who, if anyone, checks for these things?

    Sunday, December 15, 2002
    Wright off!

    I’ve been away for the last few days (holidaying at Bannisters Point Lodge – superb!) and so Andrew Norton beat me to covering the launch of John Wright’s “The Ethics of Economic Rationalism” . Unfortunately I haven’t read the book yet, however I’m hoping I can get my hands on a copy to read over the Christmas break.

    I’ve a particular interest in this book as I provided feedback on one of the chapters of this book for John earlier this year. Another book chapter I’ve had a look at is from a former colleague of John Wright’s . Not able to discuss in any detail however I’m expecting the book to create something of a stir as it takes on a lot of mythology of the economic left, as well as some of the economic ‘right’.

    More comments on John’s book if I can get a copy.
    Off for a week or so
    The holiday which was postponed for unforseen reasons a while ago is now back on. I'll be somewhere in Brisbane and then Port Macquarie until Boxing Day and without regular Net access. Happy holidays in advance to readers and the rest of the blogosphere.




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