Philip McShane
Piketty's Plight and the Global Future

Piketty's Plight and the Global Future



The title of Piketty’s bestseller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, is an allusion to Marx’s magnum opus. Piketty possessed, apparently, an advantage that Marx lacked: two centuries’ worth of hard data. Nearly all agree that the greatest strength of Piketty’s book is, without doubt, his empirical data.

Really?

That is a big question.

McShane’s introductory book is an invitation to dare to ask this big question. In Piketty's Plight and the Global Future he argues that Piketty rightly takes contemporary economics to task for its preoccupation with “petty mathematical problems” in its attempt to appear scientific and rigorous. But he adds that despite its massive appeal to data, Piketty’s bestseller is insufficiently radical to the extent that it remains trapped in muddled descriptive categories, haunted by flaws in selecting and ordering the significant data.

Philip McShane

The Author



Philip McShane (D.Phil., Oxford University, 1965–68) was trained in mathematical physics, and then went on to study philosophy, theology, and economics. He has written extensively in diverse areas, including evolutionary theory, linguistics, economics, and methodology. He edited two important volumes in Bernard Lonergan's Collected Works, one titled Phenomenology and Logic and the other titled For a New Political Economy. Twice he has been nominated for the Templeton Award for his extensive work in methodology, economics, philosophy of science, and theology. He has given workshops and conferences in Canada, Korea, India, Mexico, Australia, Colombia, Ireland, and the United States.

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