フランク・ナイトの経済学・競争体制批判:シカゴ"学派"再考  [in Japanese] Frank Knightʼs Critique of the Free-Enterprise System and Positive Economics::A Reconsideration of the Chicago "School"  [in Japanese]

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Abstract

One of the most distinguished features of Frank Knight's liberal thought seems to be his economic, political, and ethical criticisms both of the case for and against the free-enterprise competitive system. Through this multi-level, polyangular analysis and on a resignation that the system appears as the best or "least worst" as possible human beings build on earth, Knight continued to identify many defects in the system, and disclose many absurdities in the way of thinking on which we rest unwittingly. For "men's errors," he believed, "mostly lie in their premises, not in bad logic." In this paper, I select the following five topics through which Knight repeatedly discussed our premises: (1) uneconomic aspect of competition, (2) normative and conservative character of positive economics, (3) imaginary nature of the idea of natural rights, (4) self-deconstructive tendency of business and the power game, and (5) plural meanings of love in liberal society. This paper proposes that Knight's radical yet constructive criticisms aimed to refine, rather than advocate, the free-enterprise competitive system and warn against the fallacy of "absolutism: holding that a statement must be either true or false and that, if false, antithesis must be true." So this essay not only destructs the image of Knight as a neo-classical economist, but also clarifies the differences and similarities between him and later Chicagoans. That is, it illuminates the contrary directions of their perspectives and the identical iconoclastic propensity for disclosing implicit postulates.

One of the most distinguished features of Frank Knightʼs liberal thought seems to be his eco-nomic, political, and ethical criticisms both of the case for and against the free-enterprise com-petitive system. Through this multi-level, poly-angular analysis and on a resignation that the system appears as the best or "least worst" as possible human beings build on earth, Knight continued to identify many defects in the sys-tem, and disclose many absurdities in the way of thinking on which we rest unwittingly. For "menʼs errors," he believed, "mostly lie in their premises, not in bad logic."  In this paper, I select the following five top-ics through which Knight repeatedly discussed our premises: (1) uneconomic aspect of compe-tition, (2) normative and conservative character of positive economics, (3) imaginary nature othe idea of natural rights, (4) self-deconstructive tendency of business and the power game, and (5) plural meanings of love in liberal society.This paper proposes that Knightʼs radical yet constructive criticisms aimed to refine, rather than advocate, the free-enterprise competitive system and warn against the fallacy of "absolut-ism: holding that a statement must be either true or false and that, if false, antithesis must be true." So this essay not only destructs the image of Knight as a neo-classical economist, but also clarifies the differences and similarities between him and later Chicagoans. That is, it illuminates the contrary directions of their perspectives and the identical iconoclastic propensity for disclos-ing implicit postulates.JEL classification numbers: B 19, B 31, B 41.

Journal

  • The History of Economic Thought

    The History of Economic Thought 53(1), 21-43, 2011

    The Japanease Society for the History of Economic Thought

Codes

  • NII Article ID (NAID)
    110009458327
  • NII NACSIS-CAT ID (NCID)
    AA12047164
  • Text Lang
    JPN
  • Article Type
    Journal Article
  • ISSN
    1880-3164
  • NDL Article ID
    024856581
  • NDL Call No.
    Z3-193
  • Data Source
    NDL  NII-ELS  J-STAGE 
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