Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Signs of reality - reality of signs. Explorations of a pending revolution in political economy.

Hanappi, Hardy (2011): Signs of reality - reality of signs. Explorations of a pending revolution in political economy.

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Abstract

This paper explores the interaction between the world of information processes in human society and the non-information dynamics, which the latter set out to understand. This broad topic is approached with a focus on evolutionary political economy: It turns out that progress in this scientific discipline seems to depend crucially on a methodological revolution reframing this above mentioned interplay. The paper consists of three parts. After a brief introduction, which sketches the position of the argument in the current epistemological discourse, part 1 sets out to describe the basic methodological ingredients used by evolutionary political economy to describe the ‘reality’ of socioeconomic dynamics. Part 2 jumps to the world of languages used and proposes a rather radical break with the received apparatus of analytical mathematics used so successfully in sciences studying non-living phenomena. The development of procedural simulation languages should substitute inadequate mathematical formalizations, some examples are provided. Part 3 then returns to ‘reality’ dynamics, but now incorporates the interaction with the information sphere in a small algorithmic model. This model – like the introduction - again makes visible the relationships to earlier research in the field. Instead of a conclusion – several, hopefully innovative ideas are provided in passing, throughout the paper - an epilogue is provided, which tries to indicate the implications of this methodological paper for political practice in face of the current global crisis.

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