The Goddess Logical Rigor

Initiates into the mysteries of the goddess Logical Rigor use a strange speech among themselves, and find it all but impossible to communicate their visions to the mass of ordinary, unilluminated mankind. This accounts in part for the fact that, of the three disciplines most devoted to that goddess, analytical philosophy and neo-classical economics have done next to nothing to shape thought and the culture at large, or even within the academy, while mathematics gave up all such pretensions long ago.1

I am not sure when it happened, but, at some point over the past ten years, I started to avoid arguing certain issues with people not familiar with rigorous mathematics, because I found it too upsetting to be reminded that many settled questions were still considered open to serious disagreement of opinion. Hopefully at some point I’ll find a better way to resolve these issues, because there is so much known only by the devotees of the goddess Logical Rigor that could benefit people, if only it were explained in a way they could understand. Sadly, I find it largely impossible to give someone more than a superficial intuition of how economic theory works without resorting to mathematics.

  1. From Cosma Shalizi’s Review of Roemer’s “A Future for Socialism”